JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Imagine being told you could buy three luxury cars worth more than $100,000 each for a fraction of the price.
That's what happened to one Jacksonville woman. Now, police are looking for a man who posed as an auto broker and conned her out of thousands of dollars.
Dorothy Smith met the man at a dealership, they picked out the cars together, and the dealership thought he was a legitimate car broker.
Smith said she got a call at work last month from a man named David saying he had a source who was selling luxury cars at low prices as a tax write-off, and she could get a new car for just $4,500.
"When he said come out and I won't have to bring any money and I would see for myself, I'm like, 'OK, well, I'll go see,'" Smith said.
Smith met the man at the dealership and she picked out three, one for herself, her sister and her friend. She said he told her she could have them all, valued at more than $300,000, for $8,000. So she went with him to the bank to withdraw the money.
When they got back to the station, she handed over the cash. That was the last time she saw him or her money.
"Once he got the money behind the customer service desk, my heart dropped," Smith said. "I just seen him and the salesman meet in the back door and go out the door together."
The car dealership said the man told its salesperson he was an auto broker, someone who buys vehicles on behalf of someone else, which the dealership said is common.
It said he told employees he was buying three cars on Smith's behalf and would pay them from an estate.
Channel 4 crime and safety analyst Ken Jefferson said outside of possible surveillance video, finding the so-called broker now is a challenge.
"This is a very difficult case to crack simply because this person dealt with this person one on one," he said. "They gave them cash one on one, they didn't force them, they didn't rob them, they didn't steal it from them, per se."
As police continue their investigation, Smith said she's learned a hard but valuable lesson.
"Sometimes things I realize now, when they sound too good to be true it probably is," she said.
The dealership said it's cooperating with police in the investigation and doesn't believe it has done anything wrong.
Smith said she just wants her money back.
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