Jay McGrew has owned Superior Auto Service for more than a decade and has seen car owners in all sorts of trouble. But a recent customer is trying to wreck his bank account.
“It sounds a little fishy but sometimes you've got to give it a little effort and make sure that it's what you think it is,” said McGrew.
McGrew’s office got an email from Terry Banks who says his Toyota is making noises and needs a new transmission. The deal is simple -- just help get the car from Florida to Washington and Jay gets the job.
“Can I prepay you for the shipment through my credit card and you can give a money order to the shipper,” explained McGrew. “He wants to charge$ 2,200 on a credit card that we don't have so he can send something Western Union to somebody else. That's kind of a dead giveaway.”
So I decided to text Terry. He told me about the Toyota, but when I asked about the location of the car he told me it was in Wisconsin. But he told Superior Auto the car was in Florida. When I asked him how he would pay, he texted me the verbatim of what he emailed to the Auto shop.
I reached out to Attorney General Bob Ferguson about this situation and his response was straight forward.
“It doesn't make sense, it doesn't add up and just don't do it,” said Ferguson.
Ferguson said his office gets complaints about this kind of thing all the time and no matter how the bad guys spin the story, the lesson is always the same.
“Anytime someone calls you up and says hey, I will give you a credit card or a check to deposit then wire me the money, that's a red flag. Anytime you're wiring money to someone you do not know or do not trust implicitly, that's a big red flag and almost always is a scam,” explained Ferguson.
Ferguson said it's hard to catch these guys because they're usually outside the country, so it's easy for them to disappear with your cash.
“It's a way for the scammer to launder the money through that credit card information they've stolen from somebody else,” said Ferguson.
The scam may seem obvious, but it must work because it's still out there. So if you get one, do like McGrew did.
“We share them amongst ourselves and we laugh at them,” said McGrew.
And then hit the delete button.