Palm Beach residents are advised to be alert for criminals who practice “Dent Repair Scams.” In these cases, a person approaches you in the parking lot of a store stating they noticed dents on your car. They will claim that they work at a body shop and can fix them for you. They promise to charge much less than what a shop would, and they can make the repairs on the spot while you are shopping. If you agree to the repairs, more than likely you will end up with a ruined car exterior.
We need the community’s help in stopping these kinds of crimes before they happen. According to the Better Business Bureau please follow these guidelines so you do not become a victim to this repair scam:
How to Avoid Repair Scams
• Be wary of unsolicited offers. This kind of scam starts with someone who just happened to drive by and notice the car needed a repair. If you are approached by a stranger in a parking lot offering repair services of any kind, be careful, ask questions, and if they have a business card, offer to check out the company they say they're representing to see if it is in fact legitimate.
• Don’t fall for high pressure sales tactics. Scammers will often pressure their target to accept their offer, demand full payment upfront with a statement that the person will never get a better price anywhere else. In addition, they only have time to do the repairs at that moment. High pressure, now-or-never sales tactics are a hallmark of scams.
• Research repairmen and repair shops before you do business. Look up reviews and business ratings of any repair person or company before agreeing to any service. If you are dealing with an individual repairman, ask for references to call and verify the quality of the work. If a person can’t wait for you to research and compare companies, find someone else to do the job or explain to the imposing salesperson that the problem can be taken care of somewhere else.
For questions or additional information, call Palm Beach Police Department at 561-838-5454 and if you feel in immediate danger, do not hesitate to call 9-1-1.