CRIME WATCH

Fake Website Uses Real Orem Business To Scam Would-Be Car Buyers

Jul 26, 2018, 10:37 PM | Updated: Jul 27, 2018, 1:09 am

OREM, Utah – A real Orem business is being used by scammers to rip people off, using a fake website that appears to belong to the business.

Tavos Motors, on 800 North in Orem is a body shop, which sells a few salvaged cars on the lot.

“I have been working in collision repair for almost 15 years,” said Gustavo Fratti, who for the past five years has owned his own body repair shop, and been successful, mostly through word of mouth.

He’s never advertised his business online, even though he recently discovered there is a Tavos Motors website, which was made to look like it is for his business.

“Somebody has stolen my name, and put car for sale,” he said.

The site has a lot of used cars for sale, including a 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo. Last week, someone showed up with a lot of cash, demanding to pick up their Porsche, which they had already paid a significant amount of money for with a down payment, made through a wire transfer. The person became angry when Gustavo didn’t have it, to the point he had to call the police.

“I try to fix the problem, more soon, because a lot of people come here looking for a car and show me money,” he said.

Orem police say this appears to be a new attempt at an old fashioned scam, trying to get people to wire money, likely overseas, money they can’t get back when they realize they have been duped.

“These scammers have set up a website and a Facebook page and they have got a picture of his building, and pictures of his car he has never had,” said Lt. Craig Martinez, with the Orem Police Department.

“People are sending these fraudsters money through wire transfers, expecting to get a high dollar car in return, they never get it,” he added.

While Gustavo is not out any money, he’s worried about the reputation of his business he’s worked hard to build from scratch.

Police hope by warning the public, no one else will get ripped off.

“The best advice we can give is don’t send anybody any money unless you have actually met them face to face,” said Lt. Martinez.

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Fake Website Uses Real Orem Business To Scam Would-Be Car Buyers