May 11, 2005
The San Francisco Police Department is alerting the public to an auto “accident” scam that particularly targets elderly drivers. In this scam, the suspects will falsely accuse the victim driver of having caused minor car damage to the suspect’s car and will obtain money from the victim to have the car “repaired.”
The most recent example of this scam occurred on April 15. In this incident, an 86 year-old man had begun driving out of the Albertson’s parking lot at 1515 Sloat Blvd. when a driver began honking the car horn and motioned for him to pull over. The victim stopped and two white females stepped out of their car and approached him. The driver claimed that he had struck her car while he was pulling out of a parking space in the Albertson’s lot. The suspect showed the victim a scratch and dent on her car.
The driver stated she needed to get her car fixed and knew of a body shop. The suspect told the victim to wait while she went to get an estimate. The suspect returned after a short while and told victim that she would need the money right away. The suspects followed the victim to the Bank of America branch located inside the Albertson’s store. The victim went into bank alone while the suspects waited outside. The victim returned, and gave the suspect the money. The contact information the suspect gave the victim was later determined to be false.
Members of the public, particularly elderly drivers, should be cautious of persons claiming their cars have been hit. Anyone who is approached or waived down by persons claiming that their car has been hit should contact the police to verify if there is new damage on either car.
For more information, please contact:
Lieutenant Kenwade Lee
850 Bryant Street, Room 549, San Francisco, CA. 94103