Selling app led to $1,900 ripoff, Steelton woman says

Investigators

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Hope Andujar thought she was getting a good deal on a car advertised on a selling app, but instead, she says, she was ripped off.

“The whole scheme of it, how trustworthy he was, it was a manipulation,” Hope said.

Hope says she and her husband saw the 2007 Ford Edge for sale on the selling app Offer Up. They messaged the seller and asked to meet in person at Hope’s job in Harrisburg.

Hope says the man that showed up identified himself as Michael Collins and provided a driver’s license with his name and address.

“We gave him a down payment for the car of $500,” she said.

Hope wrote down the driver’s license number, address, and license plate number on a piece of paper. Everyone signed the paper acknowledging the $500 cash down payment and agreed to meet at a notary to complete the sale the next day.

“As we got to the notary, he pulls up. I am handing him the money as he is supposed to be handing me the keys, right, as we get to the door of the notary, and he turns around and runs and gets in the car and just leaves,” Hope said. “My husband was super furious. Luckily, he didn’t reach him in time or who knows what would have happened.”

Harrisburg police said they are investigating the incident.

“The officer said the driver’s license number came back to a woman in Pittsburgh and the license plate was a dealer plate,” Hope said.

She says she lost a total of $1,900.

“I just want to see justice brought to him because God only knows how many times he has done this and how many more times he is planning on doing this,” she said.

Hope reported the profile used to advertise the car to the selling app and was told she needs to submit a police incident number before any action can be taken. When ABC27 interviewed Hope, the profile still remained on the app, but the cars advertised had been removed.

While selling apps will remove trouble profiles, there is nothing stopping scammers from creating new profiles under different names.

ABC27 contacted several police departments in the area to see if they have had an increase in thefts or scams related to selling apps. Most police departments said they have had incidents reported but have not necessarily seen an increase.

Authorities suggest meeting at your local police department for a safe swap area.

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