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  • Ivy Christoffers

Pothole Scam: Beware

If someone approaches you telling you that your tire is wobbling, don’t believe them. This is what happened to me on March 12. Let me explain. I was driving into the parking lot of my favorite Chinese Restaurant on Montgomery Ave. on my way to purchase wonton soup to help relieve my sore throat when I was approached by a fellow who was frantically waving his hands to get my attention. I opened my door to see what he wanted. “Lady," he said, “your back tire is wobbling.”

I said, “Really?”

“Yes,” he said, "That can be very dangerous. Didn't you feel anything?”

“No," I said. “My car feels fine.”

He said “it's really wobbling. (While shaking his hand back and forth, simulating a wobble) You need to have it checked out. You can take it to my shop, right down the street, next to Costco and I'll take care of it for you.”

I told him that I had my own mechanic in Beltsville and I thought I would take it to them. He said "You don't need to do that. I can take care of this for you.”

At that time I said “I’ll think about it" and left the parking lot. I proceeded to my mechanic, Kenny, on Maryland Ave. and told them about my experience. Kenny asked me if I had hit and potholes. I replied “Who hasn’t? They are all over the place. Please check out my tire as I don’t know if the man was factual or drumming up business.”

They then took my keys and drove the car on the street and then inside the garage while we watched the performance of the tires. There was nothing wrong with my tire. Kenny congratulated me for not falling for the con man's game and checking out the supposed wobble. This was another example of a scam artist at work preying on a senior citizen. I suppose he saw an 84-year-old woman with silver hair driving a luxury car and thought “easy pickings” sure she did not have a brain in her head. When I arrived home again, without my wonton soup, I reported this incident to the local police. My reasoning is that if this happened to me, how many other senior citizens have met up with this scam artist. He needs to be stopped. Potholes themselves are dangerous enough, (last year a very bad pothole tore up both tires on the passenger side of my car) without disreputable people preying on unsuspecting drivers. Citizens unite!

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