13 InvestigatesScam Alert


CONTACT 13: Beware of the mobile mechanic scam

Posted at 10:50 PM, Apr 08, 2016
and last updated 2018-11-21 17:46:11-05
No one likes having to visit their local mechanic. But there's no escaping regular maintenance, and car repair costs. Just be careful about where you go looking for cheaper alternatives. 
"This guy posted on Facebook that he is a mechanic, and its his day off, and he could fix your car cheap," says Jackie Bryson.
She doesn't have the money to take her old Taurus in to the shop to replace its sagging struts and shocks. So she hired a guy who said he would meet her, and then buy the necessary parts.
"He said I can go to my shop and get the parts cheaper, than what you can ever get them for at an auto parts store like Auto Zone, things like that," says Jackie.
A man claiming to be the mechanic's brother stopped by. So she gave him $175 to buy parts. That's the last she ever heard of either of them.
"He doesn't show up. I texted him. I called him. I cant get a hold of him," says Jackie.
It's called the mobile mechanic scam. If you're hiring someone to come to your house, you've got to make sure they're properly licensed.
It's easy to do. Nevada's DMV has a list of licensed body shops, auto dealers, and more. If you think you've found a legit mobile mechanic, AAA says: get their address, and Google them. Make sure they have a truck full of professional tools. Not just some wrenches and screwdrivers. Ask if they take credit cards. And never pay cash in advance. It's a lesson Jackie learned the hard way.
"That's wrong, you don't do people that way," says Jackie.
Here's the Contact 13 bottom line. There's no recourse if you hire someone who isn't properly licensed. But if you have a problem with a legitimate mechanic, you can file a complaint with the DMV. Their Compliance Enforcement Division investigators can be reached at 702-486-8626.
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