A Houston family says a thief sold them a rental truck, using falsified and forged documents to extort thousands of dollars from them.
A woman, who did not want her identity revealed, said she had already successfully purchased two cars on Craigslist.
She said she hoped to make it a third on Thursday, but instead a thief took her for a ride.
She said he scammed her out of $16,000 for a 2022 Dodge Ram he sold her via a private ad.
The woman then said the price seemed too good to be true but the documentation at the time seemed legit.
“He showed us a blue title and he even had a Carfax report with his name on it,” she said. “And he showed us the ID, everything matched. The VIN number matched the truck.
The woman says they met near the Texas Medical Center, where they even tested the vehicle.
She said the man even posed for a photo before they all went to the couple’s bank to get a cashier’s check.
“He asked for money and my husband said, ‘No, it’s too much money, we can wait,'” she said. “It was very strange. We almost left. »
She said the man told them he needed the cash because he had just gotten a divorce and didn’t want his wife to know about the sale. So the woman said she had to.
“A lot of money, a lot of money in both envelopes. Thick, thick $100 bills,” she said. “He was glad he got his money.”
The buyer gave them the documents and left the bank. The couple then went to the Department of Motor Vehicles to register the truck in their name.
“I went to the DMV, and they said it was fake,” she said. “The title, she told me to watch very carefully. He erased it and typed his name.
Houston police agreed the documents appeared to be fake or forged.
Investigators said the truck the couple bought was actually a San Antonio rental that was due back on Friday.
Officers said this is why Avis, the car rental company, did not report the theft.
“Very sad. Probably not because of the $16,000 you feel like you trust people. You feel like you cheated,” the victim added.
The Houston Police Department is currently in possession of the truck. The thief has not been identified or located.
If you recognize him, you are urged to contact Houston Crime Stoppers at (713) 222-TIPS.
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