Fake Parking Valet

How the scam works:

You and your partner decide to have a special night out. Choosing a nice classy restaurant, you pull into the lot when a nice valet in a bowtie greets you and tells you he'll take your car from here.

As you get out, the valet also informs you about a special draw the restaurant has this coming Sunday for a free dinner for four. At $100 a plate, that's nothing to scoff at so you fill out the form and hand it back to him. You give the young guy a ten-spot for being so helpful and go into the restaurant.

Unfortunately, the nice young man was not really the valet, but a scammer in a bowtie who now has your vehicle, your address from the form you filled out, and the keys to your house (you have all your keys on the same keychain, right?) Meanwhile, you're sitting down to an expensive dinner. That night went from costing you a couple of hundred dollars to a few thousand, or at least, the hassle of dealing with insurance.

 

How to avoid:

Park the car yourself. Real valets are available in places where their services are time-efficient. Since scammers ask you to fill a form for a prize, that's more time wasted before the dinner. Tell them you'll fill the form inside.

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