Several dangerous scams have popped up in the greater Washington, DC area.
In the first scam, drivers come out to their parked cars and find a $100 bill under a windshield wiper. When they get out to grab the bill, they get robbed and/or carjacked, WTOP reports. For people travelling with kids, the scam is especially worrying.
Karen Straughn, head of the Maryland Attorney General’s consumer protection office, says there is always an increase in scams around the holiday season.
The $100 bill scheme isn’t the only one she’s heard about lately. Another scam reported in Baltimore County, Maryland, involves a seemingly distraught person crying out for help. When a Good Samaritan answers the call for help, the scammer mugs them.
WTOP also reports that swindlers have been reported in parking lots offering to fix people’s car dents and paint imperfections. Two things often happen when consumers take them up on their offers. First, their work often quickly cracks and peels. Second, a consumer agrees to let them fix their car for a price, but once the work is done, the scammer demands much more money.
"Don't just accept business or items from people who approach you in a parking lot who want to sell you something,” Straughn warns. “They may not have proper license to do what they're doing. They may not be properly certified. You should check out a business before you decide to pay them money.”
Straughn advises consumers to do two things this holiday season to avoid scams: be skeptical, and report anything that seems suspicious.