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Police: Scammers targeting older drivers

A group of scammers are targeting North Phoenix drivers by presenting themselves as mechanics fixing a “problem” with the victim’s car, police said.

The scammers have targeted older drivers on three separate occasions so far, the most recent of which was May 30 around 4:00 p.m.

According to a press release, the scammers informed an older couple that their gas tank was leaking after they parked at a restaurant near 35th Avenue and Northern. They told the couple they were mechanics and could fix the vehicle. When the coupe agreed, the husband was taken by one suspect to a bank near 43rd Avenue and Northern in his vehicle and told to withdraw $9,500. The teller became suspicious and, when they went to speak with the suspect, the man drove off in the couple’s car.

At the same time, two women, a man and a young child took the wife to a bank at 200 E. Washington and told her to withdraw $9,500 from her account. The wife’s card was expired so the suspects left her at the bank.

The victims were reunited by police and were unharmed. The couple’s car was located near 43rd Avenue and Glendale and was not damaged.

In two similar incidents, a group of people informed the older victim that there was a problem with their car and obtained a total of about $12,900. Police believe that the scammers may have disabled on vehicle and merely “fixed” the problem after being paid.

The scammers are described as being a Hispanic male, aged 55- to 60-years-old, with dark hair, a moustache and wearing gray coveralls, another Hispanic male, about 25- to 30-years-old wearing a blue sweater or jacket, and an undescribed Hispanic male and Hispanic female.

The suspects could also be Eastern European, as one teller told police one of the suspects spoke with a “Slavic or Romanian accent.”