“These two men took advantage of an elderly man just trying to sell his car.”

An elderly Michigan man in Rochester Hills thought he successfully sold his 2012 Buick LaCrosse, that is until he found out he was paid in all fake bills.

The disheartening story was shared by either a friend or family member on the Madison Heights, MI area of the Nextdoor app, the story covered by Fox 2 Detroit shortly after.

The post on Nextdoor can be found here and I’ve posted a screenshot of the ad below.

“2012 Buick Lacrosse purchased with $12,000 in ALL fake bills,” the caption reads. “The car is probably long gone by now (possibly traveling in the area near Interstate 275) but be aware that this car is stolen should you see it or are in the market for a used car.”

According to Fox 2, the scammers took the elderly man’s Buick for a test drive, and, after leaving, returned with $12,150 in $50s.

After they left, the man noticed the serial numbers on the $50s were all the same and the texture of the money was different than official money.

It’s no surprise that when he tried to call them back, he found the numbers to be phony.

When the man reported his car stolen to Oakland County police Fox 2’s report says they communicated to the man that,

“Unfortunately, the car was not technically stolen because the man had received payment, even if it was counterfeit.”

It was suggested in the Nextdoor comments that this LaCrosse could and should have OnStar, an in-vehicle safety and security system first introduced in GM vehicles in 1996.

One of the main features of OnStar is “Stolen Vehicle Assistance” which, according to Chevy Guide, can technically still be used without a subscription.

But, as OnStar’s website points out,

“Once law enforcement confirms your vehicle has been stolen, OnStar Advisors can utilize GPS technology to help authorities locate your vehicle…”

Since his LaCrosse was reported as not technically stolen, OnStar was of no help.

The Nextdoor poster commented this below in frustration,

“The two suspects went by the name Keith and John,” Fox 2’s report goes on to say. “They were both were Black men and drove off in the 2012 LaCrosse and a 2008 light blue Chevy Malibu. Police said they believe the two men may have traveled from the area of I-275 and that Keith talked about growing up and doing roof work near Holly, Michigan.”

Fox 2’s report goes on to mention how police say to, “take pictures of driver’s licenses, purchase a counterfeit marker, and count the cash yourself” as ways to mitigate risk when selling among private parties.

It’s worth noting, according to Detroit Free Press, that most police stations have monitored “safe transaction zones” in and around police stations when meeting for a sale.

But it’s probably better to complete a car sale transaction at a bank you can trust, accepting cashier’s check or cash.

Watch as the teller prints out your check and, if the buyer’s financing it, their bank sound send you a check with their info on it.

And, if they’re paying by cash, cash straight from a teller ensures you’re getting actual (not fake) money.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here