'I had trust in him': Man allegedly steals car during Facebook Marketplace sale (2024)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — She trusted the man whom she met on Facebook Marketplace to take her Toyota for a short test drive. Thirty minutes later, both her car and her faith in him were gone for good.

"Lesson learned," said the Grand Rapids woman, whom we'll refer to as Mendez. "Please be really careful what you're selling and who you're selling to; don't trust anybody."

'I had trust in him': Man allegedly steals car during Facebook Marketplace sale

On Thursday morning, Mendez says her silver, 2012 Toyota RAV4 was stolen out of her driveway by a man posing as an interested buyer on Facebook Marketplace. She was asking for $9,700. He countered with $9,500 and said he had cash.

"He said it was really a need for him and his family," Mendez said.

When the man asked if he could take the vehicle for a test drive, Mendez said her son would go with him as a precaution. He refused. He'd only be gone for 15 minutes, he said, sitting in the car.

'I had trust in him': Man allegedly steals car during Facebook Marketplace sale (1)

FOX 17

"I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt," said Mendez, who took a picture of the man's ID before he turned right out the driveway. "I had trust in him, not knowing he was going to sit there and take the car and never bring it back."

The family later realized the man's ID wasn't a driver's license, but a state-issued identification card.

When fifteen minutes turned into thirty, reality began to set in. They'd likely been stolen from.

'I had trust in him': Man allegedly steals car during Facebook Marketplace sale (2)

FOX 17

"I was like, 'Okay, then he really did take my car,'" said Mendez, who then called the man multiple times from different phones. He didn't pick up. She then called Grand Rapids police and filed a report for motor vehicle theft.

The loss of potential income hurts the extended family, as Mendez sends money to her parents for "gas, food, somewhere to sleep" while they're out of town.

If she does see her Toyota RAV4 again, she believes it will return with parts missing or be destroyed.

As for whether she'll sell another car on Facebook Marketplace again: "Nope, I'm done," she said.

"Doesn't matter what you're selling, be really careful who you sell to," Mendez said. "The money was really important to me."

If you have information related to the alleged car theft, Mendez says to message this TextNow number: (616)-369-7844.

Follow FOX 17: Facebook - X - Instagram - YouTube

Copyright 2024 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Sign up for the Breaking News Newsletter and receive up to date information.

now signed up to receive the Breaking NewsNewsletter.

Click here to manage all Newsletters

'I had trust in him': Man allegedly steals car during Facebook Marketplace sale (2024)


Is buying a car on Facebook marketplace safe? ›

Watch Out for Scams

A common scam is when the seller asks for a deposit to hold the car. They might say that they have other interested buyers and you need to act fast. Once you send them the money, they disappear. Don't ever send a seller money before seeing the car in person.

How to avoid being scammed when selling a car? ›

Verify the buyer's identity: Before finalizing the deal, ask for the buyer's full name, contact information and a valid driver's license. Be skeptical of overpayment: If a buyer offers more than the asking price and then wants a refund for the difference, they're likely a fraudulent buyer.

What are some safety tips for selling a car on Facebook Marketplace? ›

Keep the following safety tips in mind when selling stuff on Marketplace:
  1. View the person's profile and rating. ...
  2. Protect your privacy. ...
  3. Know About Delivery Options for Items. ...
  4. Use safe payment methods. ...
  5. Review our Commerce Policies. ...
  6. Verify the legitimacy of the item. ...
  7. Don't sell recalled items.

What is the red flag on Facebook marketplace when buying a car? ›

Tips for avoiding scams when buying a car
  1. Always have the car inspected. After you test drive the car yourself, get it inspected by a mechanic you trust. ...
  2. Don't trust sellers who say the online marketplace guarantees the sale. ...
  3. Check for liens on the vehicle. ...
  4. Perform a vehicle history check.

Is it safe to give out a VIN number on Facebook marketplace? ›

Q. Is it safe to give VIN on the Facebook marketplace? VIN helps the buyer verify the information provided by the seller. However, it is not necessary to upload the VIN.

How to not get scammed when buying a car on Facebook marketplace? ›

Double-check deals that seem too good to be true. Scammers may try to use underpriced items to lure buyers into a scam. Do not send deposits for high value items (apartments, cars, etc.) without confirming that they're real first.

Are items on Facebook Marketplace stolen? ›

While it's great to unload something you don't need or buy something you do, Facebook Marketplace still has drawbacks. Like every online marketplace, scammers lurk there to take advantage of people, steal their money and items, or even trick them into revealing information that could lead to identity theft.

How to sell a car on Facebook Marketplace and not get scammed? ›

Accepting cash or a cashier's check can help avoid scams. During the handover, ensure to count and verify the validity of the money or cashier's check. Escrow payments are a great option too. After receiving the payment, sign over the title to the buyer and provide them with a bill of sale.

Should I give my VIN on Facebook Marketplace? ›

VIN helps the buyer verify the information provided by the seller. However, it is not necessary to upload the VIN. A seller not providing a VIN does not mean that it is a dishonest listing, it just means that they are not able to provide proof that the information given in the listing is accurate.

Does Facebook Marketplace have tracking? ›

Tap at the top, then tap Orders. 4. Tap the order you want to track.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jonah Leffler

Last Updated:

Views: 6355

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jonah Leffler

Birthday: 1997-10-27

Address: 8987 Kieth Ports, Luettgenland, CT 54657-9808

Phone: +2611128251586

Job: Mining Supervisor

Hobby: Worldbuilding, Electronics, Amateur radio, Skiing, Cycling, Jogging, Taxidermy

Introduction: My name is Jonah Leffler, I am a determined, faithful, outstanding, inexpensive, cheerful, determined, smiling person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.