NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – In a CBS2 exclusive, a Bronx woman is speaking out, warning drivers of a scam on the streets.
She says she was duped into handing over cash for a car problem that didn’t even exist.
It can be an easy trap to fall into, even for drivers who swear they know better.
“I consider myself pretty streetwise. I had no idea this scam existed,” Colleen Boris told CBS2’s Reena ROy. “I feel a bit foolish. I do.”
Boris, 61, says she was driving through Riverdale Sunday afternoon when a man in an auto shop uniform waved her down on 228th Street near Broadway. She stopped.
“I looked at him, I put the window down, and he said something’s smoking under your hood and let me take a look,” Boris said. “He said this is your lucky day, I’m a mechanic on my way to work.”
As she was parked, sitting in the driver’s seat, the seemingly helpful mechanic appeared to be hard at work under the hood. Little did Boris know he was likely creating a fake problem while hidden from view.
“He said you have antifreeze liquid spreading all over. He said come here, take a look. So I get out of the car and I do see liquid,” Boris said.
It turns out, that’s a textbook tactic, according to Boris’s trusted mechanic Bruce Yudman.
“He’ll walk over to the car and open the radiator cap. When the car is hot and you open the radiator cap, fluid will come out,” Yudman explained. “By the time you get out of the car, he’s saying look at the leak.”
Yudman says in reality, Boris’s vehicle was just fine.
“Looking at her car, did you see any issues?” Roy asked.
“Nothing wrong with it,” Yudman said. “Past couple of weeks I’ve had about 4-5 people come in saying the same thing. Someone will stop them saying their car is smoking.”
Some, Yudman says, have paid as much as $600. Boris was lucky to lose just about $40.
“I said oh thank you so much, what can I give you. And he said $180. I said I don’t have that kind of money on me,” Boris said. “He said oh there’s an ATM around the corner. At that point I knew I was being scammed… I went home and knew I had been scammed, but just grateful $38 is all he got.”
Now she wants others to learn from her mistake.
“I hope other women don’t get fooled like I did. I hope they just keep going,” she said.
Boris reported it to the 50th police precinct in hopes of taking those scammers off the streets.