Dent repair scam targeting people in parking lots

SEATTLE-- Next time you’re out shopping, police say watch out for a man offering to fix the dents on your car. They say it could be part of a scam.

Seattle Police said a man approaches women who are alone as they get out of their car and offering to repair the dents and scratches. In the recent case, near the Trader Joe’s on Roosevelt Way, the woman declined and the scam artist marked up her car while she was inside shopping and demanded she pay him $150. Police said she was so intimidated she paid $60.

Seattle Police say he’s driving a silver Volvo station wagon.

“The guy provides no services,” said Jim Fuda with Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound. “He looks for lone people, looks for anything he can do. He looks for someone he can get some money from. He actually ruined her car more than he repaired it.”

In the most recent case two weeks ago, investigators said it happened to a 21-year old woman near Trader Joe’s on the 4500 block of Roosevelt Way.

The suspect has been described as a white man between 30 and 40 years old, between 5’8 to 5’10, about 180 pounds with a slim build, black hair, and trimmed black beard.

“SPD wants this guy because they don’t want anymore to be victim of this scam; we don’t know how it’s going to escalate,” said Fuda. “If he’s going to pick the wrong person, he could be seriously hurt.”

We talked to the owner of Bothell Import Service, Nate Wahl, who said the best way to avoid the scam artist is to play along and say you need to get money from the ATM but then go inside the building and call police.