Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Tow Scam

It seems like there’s always someone who needs a hand, but be wary of the man going around asking for a few dollars for a tow.  Officers in Overland Park have recently taken two reports about just such a request.  Like other alerts we tell you about, this one is also a scam.

On May 17th police responded to a call of suspicious activity in the 8100 block of 98th Street. On May 28th they responded to a similar call in the 7600 block of Mackey Street.  In both cases, residents said they were contacted by a male who claimed his wife was just involved in a car accident nearby and their vehicle was damaged to the point it required a tow.  His story was that the tow truck arrived, but the driver required immediate payment to remove the vehicle.  In one case, the kind and helpful resident gave the man $40 and, in the other case, the resident gave the man $100.  In both cases the male claimed he would be back shortly with the money to repay them. Not too surprisingly, he never returned.

Both reporting parties described the suspect as a heavy set white male about 40-50 years old.  In one case, he was said to have sandy-colored short, curly hair.  Unfortunately he won’t be wearing a shirt that says, “I’m a scammer here to take your money,” so it’s up to us to spread the word so others won’t be victimized by him.

On a side note, most of the tow companies that operate in this area won’t require immediate payment if the vehicle is to be towed to their lot or if the vehicle is to be towed to a body shop that is open during normal business hours.