Newport Beach police say con artists offering car repairs are up to no good throughout the city.
This month two residents were victims of auto repair scams.
On Saturday, Jan. 19 a suspect, who said his name was Tom Amico, approached a resident outside of his home in the 100 block of Garnet and offered to fix his car. According to police, the suspect said he could fix the scratches, rear bumper and broken door handle for $1,400.
Police say the resident agreed to the work and the two men went to the bank to get the money. The men went back to the house, where the suspect repaired the car, but said he had to order a new door handle and would be back in a few days.
When he returned on Tuesday, Jan. 22 the suspect told the resident he would need another $1,500 for a $3,000 rebate. He offered to give the resident $2,700 and keep the remaining money as payment for the repairs. After handing over the money, the suspect left and never returned.
The suspect was described as standing about 5 feet 7 inches tall, with a medium weight, brown hair and facial hair.
On Wednesday, Jan. 23 a man who was parked in the Westcliff Shopping Center was approached by two men who asked if he still lived on Balboa Island. According to police, the men went their separate ways but later in the day the two Latino men showed up in a white pick-up truck outside of the resident's garage.
While they were talking, the suspects began working on the man's rear bumper of his car. Once they finished polishing the bumper, the suspects told the resident he owed them $450 for the work. The resident refused to pay and the suspects left.
Police issued the following Con Artist Safety Tips:
• Be vigilant and do your homework before letting someone work on your car.
• Remember that reputable companies do not solicit business in parking lots.
• If you are approached in a parking lot, say NO, and walk away.
• Employees who work for reputable companies have uniforms and drive vehicles with company markings and can provide you with business cards that correspond to both the vehicle and their uniform.
• Never give someone money for work until you are 100 percent satisfied with your repairs.
• If you have fallen victim to a similar scam in Newport Beach, contact the police department at 949-644-3717.