A good car salesman without a job can be a dangerous person. All that industry know-how under their belt can create the perfect storm for fraud if one wanted to go down that road of finessing people out of their money. That’s what happened with one Detroit car salesman. Fox 2 Detroit reports that this man, posing as a salesman, allegedly created an elaborate scam that involved lies and resold cars.
Ricardo Perez was at one point a salesperson at Dick Scott Jeep, Ram, Dodge, Chrysler in Plymouth, Michigan. But apparently just sticking to selling cars wasn’t enough for Perez. He was fired in the summer of 2021 for fraud and theft. Rather than try to find a position at another dealership, he decided to take his dealer contacts and continue grifting by creating an elaborate web of a scam.
In his grift, Perez would still pose as a salesperson from Dick Scott Jeep and allegedly offer customers what’s known as a lease pull ahead. Those are deals that get customers out of their current leases early and into a newer vehicle. What’s worse, the Covid pandemic played right into his game. From Fox 2:
Instead of meeting at the dealership – he used being Covid safe to his advantage, meeting customers in parking lots to make the exchange.
Of course, Perez wouldn’t actually return the car to the dealer. The person’s car would end up in his endless circle of theft: Allegedly, he’d either resell the vehicle or sell the person a car he stole from someone else by doing the same lease return scam.
He didn’t stop there, though. A person like this never does. It gets better. He’d actually go to dealers and fraudulently sign paperwork in their names so they’d get screwed on their “payments”:
He would actually go to dealerships and get vehicles but put them in their names and sign all the paperwork, sign their names,” Watters said.
Then, he’d tell them – their payments are less than the actual dealership was charging.
Authorities say Perez would tell these people that their first three payments would be waived, so by the time the finance company contacted the customer for payment, they’d already be three months late. This would significantly impact their credit. These late notices are what sent people to contact local police. Perez has now been charged at multiple police stations in the Detroit area. And local authorities are left to clean up the mess he’s left behind.
We do have some of the vehicles that we are able to return back to some people. “We are trying our best to work with those people because they are absolutely, 100 percent, the victims.