Thursday, April 10, 2014

Orange County Auto Donation Scam

In this case it is the Charity that might have been ripped off.

A female friend of mine had a fixable SUV she wanted to donate to charity. She called and made arrangements with the charity to have it picked up on a certain date at a particular time. The SUV was parked in the rear of her driveway. It had no sign on it and the vehicle had never been advertised for sale. The only people who knew the vehicle was available was the charity, and  a couple of it's employees.

About 10 minutes before the tow truck arrived there was a knock on her door. She expected it to be the tow truck driver but it turned out to be an individual whose small pick up was at the curb. This person, a male much larger than my friend, immediately starts jabbering on, fast talking her to sell her car to him. He was pushy and intimidating. He waved hundred dollar bills at her and dismissed her commitment to donate the SUV to charity. She was becoming frightened at his dominating demeanor.

Then the tow truck arrived. She went to the driver and told him this guy was trying to brow beat her into selling the car to him. Surprisingly the tow truck driver said that if she wanted to do that he could easily cancel the scheduled pick up. She insisted that the car should go to charity. The want to be buyer's attitude had sent up red flags. No honest person acts like that. He might fail to title the car and then use it for illegal activities.

Finally the tow truck driver loaded the car and left. The buyer seemed angry as he left. My friend wondered if he might return to get even or something. She left her own home and stayed away for hours.

Later, after thinking of the events and how they unfolded, my friend concluded the buyer and tow truck driver were partners in a scam to defraud the charity of donated vehicles. It is possible the dispatcher would also have to be involved.

If this happens to you get in touch with the charity director and give them a heads up.

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