Ector County tire shops experiencing tire scams

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 5:44 PM CDT
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ECTOR COUNTY, Texas (KOSA) -Tire shops in Ector County have experienced scams in the past years, by people who are untraceable.

One tire shop in West Odessa was recently scammed for over 50-thousand dollars..

Two weeks ago, Max Performance had a client purchase 80 tires, but little did they know, that person was using a fake ID and a fraudulent card.

Max Performance employees say the scammers start off by building a relationship with the shops before ordering a large amount of inventory.

They then purchase 2 to 4 tires before gradually buying thousands of dollars worth of tires.

One of the reasons the scammers use for ordering high amounts of tires, is that they claim they’re opening their own tire shop.

“I guess whoever they scammed, disputes that purchase, so whenever it comes back to us as a fraudulent credit card, but it doesn’t happen right away. It happens, in this case two weeks after,” Irvhin Tarin, manager at Max Performance said.

Tarin says that the scammers’ story is believable because tires have been difficult to purchase since the pandemic started.

Max Performance uses an application called Quick Books that allows customers to pay with a card.

Since the ID and card matches when these large transactions are made, they didn’t think anything of it.

Chris Bell, who’s a Criminal Investigator for the Ector County Sheriff’s Office, says these investigations take time because all the information that gets traced back to the card or ID, could be false or stolen.

“It’s very hard, because when the transaction is called in, it’s most of the time used on a ghost phone or a prepaid phone. With a number that’s not. you can’t track it. The credit card information does tie back to somebody, but it’s been skimmed,” Bell said.

Bell is currently working on an active case in regard to the tire scam.

He  advises tire shop workers to not take payments over the phone and if they do, they should run a credit check before completing a transaction.

The scam not only effects the business but also the employees.

“It effects the employee’s and everything also. For pay or bonuses or you know anything keeping the shop going. It effects it so it sucks,” Employee at Max Performance Robert Rios said.

Tarin says that Max Performance employees have not had to endure any pay cuts.

However,  it could affect their employees end of the year bonuses because of the money lost.

CBS7 reached out to some tire shops in Midland that say they’re aware of the scam and that they’ve been able to prevent it from happening, because they don’t take payments over the phone or through a third party application.

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