Couple falls for elaborate stolen truck scam

Posted at 11:39 PM, Nov 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-10 11:52:05-05

ESCONDIDO (KGTV) – An Escondido couple is out thousands of dollars after falling for a sophisticated truck scam

“You hear about it everywhere, but you’re like it’s not going to happen to me,” Terha Newby said.   

Terha and her husband, Chris, found the perfect truck for sale on Craigslist back in September. Someone from El Monte was selling a Chevy Silverado 2600 HD for about $16,000. 

“The registration matches the pink slip, the VIN, everything. You’re like, 'Its good!'” Terha said.  

But it was far from good.

It turns out the truck was stolen out of Orange County last year. Afterwards, someone replaced the VINs on the truck with a duplicate VIN of a truck that someone owns in Texas. They even had matching paperwork to go with it. But the VINs set off an alarm for the DMV when the Newbys went to get their new truck registered.

“The VIN that was in the vehicle belonged to truck in Texas, and it was on a lien,” Terha said. “These guys are professionals, they’re out there, and that’s all they do for a living.”

Chris said the seller gave them a Carfax report, but it was a fake one. He now regrets not getting their own. 

“From now on, for a $40 fee, Carfax would have prevented it,” Chris said.

The stolen Silverado was impounded and went back to the insurance company of the truck’s original owner. Luckily, they sold it back to the Newbys for about $5,000, which they gladly agreed to.

“They told us this is not something we do, but they felt bad for our situation,” Tehra said. “Still tough we had to re-buy anything.”

“I’m just glad I have a car,” Chris said.

The CHP gave these car-buying tips when buying from a third person private party.

  • Check Carfax and analyze the data for inconsistencies
  • Closely examine and compare seller’s ID with any vehicle paperwork presented (registration, title etc..)  
  • Conduct an online search using the VIN of the vehicle