Beware of crooks offering quick fixes on car scratches

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A mother says she gave $100 to some aggressive scam artists who approached her and her baby outside a Target store. (KTRK)

It's a new take on an old scam. Police are cautioning drivers to be careful.

In this case, the victims say the crooks offer to repair scratches on your car, but when you decline their offer and are away from your vehicle, they repair it anyway.

It happened to Cynthia on Monday. She was driving in the Galleria when two men and a woman in a car tried to get her attention. She said she rolled down her window and they offered to fix scratches on her Mercedes. She declined their offer and drove on to Target.

Once inside the store, one of the men approached her again, offering to fix her car. She said the men had followed her to Target. She said she was surprised they followed her and once again, she declined their offer.

"They realized that I was by myself and I was more worried about taking care of my baby and, you know, trying to push them away," Cynthia said.

She said when she left the store, she discovered that the men had put paint and material on it, without her consent.

She said there was red material similar to caulk over the scratches and underneath that, "It's spray paint. You can tell it's spray paint," she said.

She said the men were aggressive, so she gave them $100 so they would leave her alone. Her car was not fixed. In fact, she said it's worse off because some of the material won't come off.

She took her car to the car wash where they worked to removed what was put on her car.

Darren McCarty with Uptown Car Wash said they have seen customers come in with this scam before.

"They take people's money and then they go and get some spray paint, and paint over the paint and it makes it even worse," McCarty said.

We reached out to the men who fixed her car. They declined an on-camera interview. They told us on the phone they took photos of the work they had done on Cynthia's car, but they would not share those photos with us.

They also said Cynthia asked them to paint her car and they said they gave her a discount. Again, Cynthia said she never wanted them to do any work on her car.

Houston police say be careful. You don't have to pay for work when you didn't want it done in the first place.

Cynthia is sharing her story so it doesn't happen to anyone else.
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