Recently, a “flat tire” scam has been going around. Here’s how it works.
The victim, a driver, is flagged down or approached in a parking lot by a person who points to the victim’s car and tells them they have a flat tire. The suspect points to the driver’s side of the vehicle, indicating the flat tire is on that side of the car.
The victim pulls over, if driving, and exits the vehicle to check on the tire. The victim looks at the driver’s side tire while the suspect pulls up on the passenger side of the vehicle, opens the passenger door and removes property seen in the vehicle.
By the time the victim realizes what is happening, the suspects are gone with their property. Most of the victims are women who keep their purses on the passenger seat, in full view of passing vehicles.
This scam can happen to anyone who travels with their laptop, purse, cellphone or packages stowed on the passenger seat. These items, left in full view, can be an invitation to those who want to take your property.
To protect yourself, never pull over when asked to do so by anyone other than a police officer. Do not respond to other drivers who are waving you down. In most cases, you will be aware when you have a flat tire and, if this occurs, pull into a well-populated area and call for assistance.
Leave your vehicle running with the doors locked; do not exit the vehicle until the help you called arrives to assist you. If you are threatened or approached aggressively by anyone, call 911.