Scam Alert: Mississippi man learns his newly purchased vehicle is stolen when he tries to buy a tag

Published 9:36 pm Thursday, January 25, 2024

A Mississippi man traveled to Hammond, La., to purchase a vehicle that ended up being stolen. He learned the VIN had been tampered with when he tried to purchase a tag at the county tax office.

The Laurel Police Department issued a warning to citizens of that city Thursday, but the warning could be useful to anyone looking for a good deal on a car.

“One of our citizens located a truck for sale on social media,” a press release reads. “After contacting the seller, the victim traveled to Hammond, La., to make the purchase. Upon returning to Jones County and attempting to purchase a tag, it was revealed that the vehicle had altered VIN plates and was stolen.”

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According to the Laurel Police Department’s release, this sort of crime increases around income tax return season when many people use refunds for down payments and vehicle purchases.

“Technically, this crime did not occur in our jurisdiction and there has only been one report; however, the size of potential losses warrants a public warning,” the information reads. “When purchasing a vehicle from an unknown person, please use extra caution and contact your local law enforcement in order to check the status of the vehicle. The purpose of this release is to prevent citizens falling prey to this scam.”

For further information, call Crime Stoppers at 601-428-STOP or a local police department.