LINCOLN PARK, Mich. – Victims of an elaborate car sales scam are sharing their stories with Local 4′s Consumer Investigator Hank Winchester.
Police said a former car salesman was taking cash, selling stolen cars and collecting the personal information of clients who had no idea they were part of the money-making scheme. There are dozens of victims across several Metro Detroit cities. The stories from the victims are heartbreaking and shocking.
Ricardo Perez was recently arrested by police in Lincoln Park. Police said Perez was fired last year from Dick Scott Chrysler in Plymouth, but he never told his clients that he had been fired. Instead, he kept taking deposits, allegedly sold stolen cars and got some people involved in elaborate lease scams.
Christabelle Cabrera lost money in the car scam. She is one of the growing list of victims.
“Well, we’ve known Ricky forever. He deals with a lot of our travel baseball team. Everybody gets cars off them,” Cabrera said. “It was more hurtful than anything. Betrayal, I guess. He took down a whole community.”
She said he took down the travel baseball team and scammed at least eight parents on the team who trusted him.
“He pocketed the money so by the time ally and fraud department got to us it was too late. Then I find out that he took out a 2022 Dodge Ram on top of my Jeep that I had no clue that I even had to my name,” Cabrera said.
Perez is expected to be formally charged in Lincoln Park in March. Investigations are also underway in Plymouth, Livonia, Detroit and in Macomb County.
If you believe you were scammed by Perez you should contact police.
Have a news tip? To reach Help Me Hank please call 313-634-WDIV (313-634-9348) or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.