Fraud Friday

#LASD warns motorists of the new trending scam victimizing innocent people with the slashed tire scam

At some point, we all have been that Good Samaritan helping others in need when a motorist had a flat tire, but wait! That generosity from a stranger may not be so helpful.

The newest scam is targeting innocent victims who think they have a typical flat tire, when in reality it was caused by a thief ready to steal your money right underneath your nose.

How this scam works:

Thieves prey on victims at business parking lots. Once they have selected their potential victim, they wait until the victim leaves their vehicle.  When the victim is out of sight, the thieves proceed to slash the victim’s tire. Later, the victim returns and drives away, unaware they have a flat tire.  A motorist “thief” driving alongside you will flag you down and alert you to the flat tire on your vehicle.  When you pull over to check the tire, along with what you assume is a Good Samaritan offering assistance in fixing the flat tire. While you are distracted with the so call Good Samaritan, a second thief gets into your vehicle, rummages through your belongings and steals what they can get their hands on. Meanwhile, you do not yet realize you became a victim of theft.

Some tips to help you not be a victim to this scam are:

·        If someone alerts you to pull over for any mechanical reason, stop in a safe and public area. If you don’t feel safe, try to drive to the nearest police station.

·        If you do exit your vehicle to check your tires, take your keys with you and lock your car.

·        If you decide not to exit your vehicle, lock the doors, call roadside assistance and remain in your car.

Pay attention to your surroundings and stay safe