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BBB warns of nationwide scam with ties to the KC metro

Posted at 5:26 PM, Jun 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-15 18:26:35-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – If you are in the market for a new car, don’t be fooled by any low listings. 

The Better Business Bureau of Greater Kansas City is warning of a scam that has ties to the metro area. 

"If you think it's too good to be true, it probably is,” said Ron Almos, the Executive Vice President of Kansas City Shippers Association. 

Almos has been telling people this over the phone since calls started coming in the middle of May and dozens continued to follow. 

"I get a call about somebody asking about a boat or jet skis. I even had a guy call me about an over the road 18-wheel rig he'd seen on Craigslist,” said Almos.

For 25 years, Almos has worked for the Kansas City Shippers Association in Kansas City, Kansas. They are an established company that’s been around for decades. Almos said the only problem is they don’t ship any of the items he’s received calls about. 

"You know, come on down, you can look at a lot of carpet. You're not going to see any automobiles,” said Almos. 

The Better Business Bureau of Greater Kansas City said scammers are using the Kansas City Shippers name and address to confuse people.

"It's extremely hard for people to tell the difference. These scams are run by people who do this daily; it's their full-time job,” said Aaron Reese with the Better Business Bureau of Greater Kansas City. 

What the scammers are doing is offering a low price and free shipping for things like luxury cars and requesting half of the money upfront. 

Several people out of state have already fallen victim to this scam and are out thousands of dollars. 

"It's extremely difficult to get money like that back because, for one, it's probably already been laundered and sent away,” said Reese. 

Reese has been an investigator with the BBB for seven years. He said scams like this are common because they are easy to set up, hard to detect, and can bring in tens of thousands of dollars per week. 

"There's no way for the person to come check on the car or talk to someone directly because they're too far away,” said Reese. 

Reese said the best thing you can do is ask a lot of questions, do your research, and call the BBB if you’re still concerned. 

If you find any offers on Craigslist involving HQS Auto Shipping, Silver Shippers, Silver Shipping or Springfield Shippers, they are not legitimate.