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In Your Corner: Scammers use classifieds to target car shoppers

OKLA. CITY – Make no bones about it.

Sonja Stull and her sister, Mandy got played.

“Now, I know now,” Sonja said.

Mandy was in the market for a new set of wheels.

They stumbled across a “for sale” ad in the local classifieds.

A conversation with the supposed seller came next.

The guy sold himself as an airman stationed in Michigan.

He was supposedly selling a Toyota Camry through the Army and Air Force Exchange, a service that offers savings and tax-free shopping on military bases.

Sonja said, “He said we’ll use the exchange as a third party because that will protect me on my end and it will protect your money.”

Sonja retired from tinker after 30 years so she was familiar with the military exchange.

She and her sister played right into the fraudster’s trap, wiring loads of cash.

We did an online search.

The airman from Michigan is real, but it’s likely he has no idea his identity is being used to commit a crime.

The same goes for the actual seller of the Toyota.

We traced the photos to the Miami area, likely swiped, along with the car’s VIN number,  from a legit auto sales website.

We tried getting the scam artist on the phone, but he didn’t take any of our phone calls.

Here’s the In Your Corner bottom line.

  • The exchange does not sell used or new cars in the US.
  • They won’t advertise in newspapers.
  • Never wire or transfer cash.
  • Make sure to see the car first.
  • Have your mechanic do a thorough inspection.