nbc 7 responds

Repair Shop Helps Viewer Targeted by Parking Lot Scam

NBC 7 Responds helped a man targeted by a parking lot repair scam find a shop to fix his car

NBC Universal, Inc.

Parking lot repair scams can be very convincing. They promise quick work, at a cheaper price, and might even pretend to work for a legitimate repair shop.

"He said he had a special paint guy who could match any paint and this was a special paint that was discontinued," said Matthew Sebring, a home health nurse and Army veteran who paid for one of these repairs.

Several hundred dollars later and Sebring's Jeep had been "repaired." The two men had left a waxy substance on top of the new paint and told Sebring it was a paint sealant. The faulty repair job wasn't obvious until the next day.

"It was a pretty bad repair," said Eduardo Barreto at Pacific Coast Auto Repair. "It doesn't last and it deteriorates almost instantly."

Barreto saw the story NBC 7 Responds did on Sebring earlier this month.

"When we saw the whole newscast we said we needed to step in and help this veteran," said Barreto.

He says to be skeptical if someone randomly comes up to you volunteering to make car repairs.

"If you're looking for the repair shop, that's perfect," said Barreto. "If somebody approaches you, 9 out of 10 times it's going to be a scam."

The shop had to remove the filler and rework the job, but in the end, they were able to fix the dent and scratch.

"For them to take advantage of a military man like this and family, it's just something that rubs me the wrong way," said RJ Baylor, the owner of Pacific Coast Auto Repair. "I hope he'll learn from this!"

After a week, Sebring went to pick up his car and was shocked by the results.

"You can't even tell at all," said Sebring. "Every time I come to my car I walk around it just to look at it."

The whole incident has given him a new outlook on kindness.

"I think I was becoming kind of cynical about people and their true intentions," said Sebring. "I'm just blown away that people are this kind and really willing to help. My whole impression of humanity is definitely elevated."

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