Victim recounts being conned out of $900 in private car selling scam

Safeway on Mission and Hamilton

SPOKANE, Wash. —  There was a 2003 Ford Explorer listed on Facebook marketplace. It’s a car that Frank Boisseranc was excited to get. He said he needed it, because his old car had some issues and he has a baby on the way.

Boisseranc drove an hour to Spokane from Cusick to meet the seller at the Safeway located on Mission and Hamilton. They went inside and Boisseranc said they sat down and had a conversation.

“He seemed like a very nice, friendly guy,” Boisseranc said.

When it was all said and done, Boisseranc wanted the car and handed the man $900.

“He claimed he had to go get the VIN number to release the interest on his vehicle that he supposedly was selling me and took off,” Boisseranc said.

He said he followed the seller out to the car, having the registration and bill of sale in hand. Boisseranc saw the seller get out a piece of paper, write something down and then said the man went into the car and took off.

“I tried to follow him in my car to at least get a plate number or see where he was going, but he was so fast,” Boisseranc said.

He said he was shocked and angry.

“It hurt. $900 dollars is a big chunk of change for anybody,” he said.

Boisseranc isn’t the only victim in a car scam like this.

According to a release from The Spokane Police Department, two other victims have reported similar instances. There have been no arrests yet, but investigators say they do have leads.

“Im sure it catches a person completely off guard. You would think handing over the money, the transaction, things are going well. All of a sudden this guy is scamming you, jumping back in the car and catching you off guard and leaving with it all,” said John O’Brien, with SPD.

He said that if you do buy a car, or anything off anyone online, to do your due diligence.

He suggests meeting the seller at a public place that has surveillance cameras. Don’t give the seller money until everything is handed over. If you’re buying a car, make sure the VIN number matches the papers they give you.

“If it doesn’t feel right, be careful. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Take a witness with you. Just be careful when you’re making a transaction,” O’Brien said.

After the suspect fled, Boisseranc said he tried calling the seller again, but the call was rejected.

Now that he’s out of $900, he hopes others learn from him.

“Just be safe. No one knows what anyone’s capable of… If somebody does potentially get scammed by that guy or another gentleman, don’t go after him,don’t pursue him because he could have a gun, he could have a weapon,” Boisseranc said. “Life’s more important than money.”

4 News Now also reached out to another victim and their family. The mother of that victim said they also met the suspect at the same Safeway. They gave the seller $1,500 and he left, saying that he was taking some car parts away that the victim did not want. In this case, they also got a bill of sale. However, police said the identification numbers did not belong to the car being sold.

If anyone has been scammed, police urge you to call crime check at 509-456-2233.

“All these incidents are adding up to a problem in Spokane and we want us and the community to be a part of solving it,” O’Brien said.