A Houston family said a thief sold them a rental truck, using forged and fake documents to trick them out of thousands of dollars.
A woman, who did not want her identity revealed, said she made two successful car purchases on Craigslist in the past.
She said she was hoping 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 through a private ad.
The woman said while the price seemed too good to be true but the documentation at the time seemed legitimate.
“He showed a blue title to us 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 in the vicinity of the Texas Medical Center, where they even test-drove 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 requested the cash, and my husband said, ‘No, this is too much money, we can wait for it,’” she said. “It was very strange. We almost walked away.”
She said the man told them he needed the money in cash because he recently got divorced and didn’t want his wife to know about the sale. So the woman said she obliged.
“A lot of money, a lot of money in the two envelopes. Thick, thick $100 bills,” she said. “He was happy he got his money.”
The buyer signed over the documents to them 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 told me it’s a fake,” she said. “The title she told me to look at very carefully. He erased it and typed in his name.”
Houston police agreed that the documents appear to be fake or forged.
Investigators said the truck the couple bought was actually a rental from San Antonio which was scheduled to be returned Friday.
Officers said that’s why Avis, the rental car company, had not reported it stolen.
“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’re urged to contact Houston Crime Stoppers at (713) 222-TIPS.