Local News

Police: Scammer claims to be mechanic helping a relative

Posted August 27, 2009 10:19 a.m. EDT

— Rocky Mount police warned residents Thursday to be careful of a scam in which a telephone caller poses as a mechanic or a stranger helping a relative.

Several people recently told police they got a phone call from a person who said they needed cash or a debit card to repair a relative's vehicle. The caller asked to met in the parking lot of grocery stores.

The con artist has gotten away with amounts from $36 to $125, police said. The calls have come at all times of the day.

Police described the con artist as a white man with a beard, under age 25. He drives a truck.

In one such incident, a 42-year-old woman got a call around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday from a man claiming to be a long-lost cousin, police said. The man said his car had broken down and needed $75 to pay the bill from Taylor's Wrecker. He asked her to bring money to the Pizza Inn on Hunter Hill Drive.

The woman, though, became suspicious and asked the caller questions about their family that he couldn't answer, police said.

Taylor's Wrecker staff told police they hadn't been out on such a call and that another woman had reported a similar event.