With the holiday season here and all of us in a hurry, I want to share how I was the victim of a scam in the parking lot of Jumbo Grocery Store in Enid, Ok, on Nov. 16th.
It was a Friday afternoon around 4 PM. I had stopped to get some supplies to take to the Enid Home for the Holidays show the next day. I parked my car, got out and went into the store. I purchased about two plastic bags of groceries (yes, I know I should have taken a recycled bag) and a 24 case of bottled water.
I took the shopping cart to the passenger side of my car. The battery in my key fob is dead so I had to manually unlock the door. I placed my groceries in the car and did not hit the button to unlock the driver’s side.
I rolled my grocery cart to the cart rack and in the process of walking back to my car, a lady jumped out of the van that was parked beside my car. She started yelling at me for hitting her car with my door. She whipped out her cell phone and took pictures of my car tag and the scratch mark on her car. She pointed to her mother who was seated in the passenger side of her van and said, “My mom saw you slam your door into my car when you opened it.”
Still in shock by her jumping out at me I replied, “I have not even opened the driver’s side of my car yet so that is impossible.”
She continued to look at me sternly and said, “She was so tired of people thinking just because they have a nice car they can damage someone else’s car and just drive away. She was not going to let that happen to her anymore. “
She was a master of intimidation. She looked at me like she could kill me and continued to tell me what to do, she said, “Just give me your insurance information and I will take care of it from here.” I guess her intimidation skills had worked before because she continued and said, “After you hand me your insurance information you can leave, that is all the police will do anyway.”
Never in my life was I so glad my battery was dead in my fob, because I did not have to second guess myself, wondering if I had opened my driver’s side and forgot about it. I checked, it was still locked. I looked at the scratch on her car….it was white…my car is red. I pointed that out to her. She said, “If you do not give me your insurance card I am going to call the police.”
I said, “Please do.”
I waited for about six minutes when my cell phone rang. It was one of my clients asking a question. I told him I would have to wait till I got back to the office to answer the question and explained that I was thinking I was being scammed. He suggested I call the police and see if she really called. That was good advice. I punched in 911 because I did not know the number to the police department. They verified the lady had called. Then I started to wonder, maybe this was not a scam, maybe she was just thinking I had hit her car.
The police finally arrived. He instantly looked at the lady and called her by name. He looked at me and shook his head. I think he was telling me he knew what was up. She started in how people like me were horrible just slamming their car doors into her vehicle and making marks.
Then the police man let me have my say. I explained how I had not even yet opened that side of my car and showed him it was still locked. He had me open the door. He measured where the scratch was on her door compared to the point my door would have connected with her car had I indeed slammed it into her car. Again he shook his head and said, “Terrie, the marks don’t even match up and the paint color is wrong.”
He knew her name. My mind then thought he had encountered this before with her.
She would not give up. She said to the police man, “Ask my mother, she saw it all. I have a witness!”
The police talked to the mother about one minute. He came back to me and said, “I can tell you did not do this, you can leave, and I will take care of the situation.”
Then the lady started to apologize and turned from a hard, not a tooth in her head, screaming woman to a very sweet, I am so sorry person. Hmmm….think it was a show for the police man?
Scam? I am not positive….but it sure felt like a set up. So if that happens to you beware, do not hand over your insurance card or driver’s license, and wait for the police.