DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A University of Central Florida student says he’s out thousands of dollars after he was sold a car that had been stolen.
“The car’s gone. The money is gone. I have no vehicle for work. I got nothing right now,” said Anthony Callegari, who lives in Volusia County.
Callegari says the trouble all started when he spotted a truck on the site “Offer Up.” He says after texting with the seller for a couple days, they decided to meet at a Daytona Beach gas station last week.
“I test drove the vehicle, I checked the vins, I checked the title,” Callegari explained.
He says it called seemed legit so he bought the truck on the spot. Handing over $20,000 in cash.
“When I went to the title agency, the DMV, they checked it and they said, ‘This is a real good title. This is a really good fake title.’ At that point, I’m like okay, something’s wrong,” Callegari said.
The 21-year-old says he tried calling the seller back, but the phone was disconnected. He contacted police and says he soon learned the title and vin numbers were fake. The information was pulled off another 2017 Ford F-150 still sitting in a car lot.
Callegari says before investigators took the truck into evidence, he searched it up and down.
“At the end of the night, I found a hidden vin in the back of power inverter box underneath the seat. It was an old sticker – when I searched that one, it came up stolen,” he said.
Who sold him the truck is still a mystery.
“At the end of the day, you don’t know who’s at the other end of that computer,” said Erika Urdaneta with the Better Business Bureau of Central Florida.
The organization, along with police, suggest people buying and selling through an online marketplace should consider meeting at a local police department.
“If it’s a legitimate post, that buyer is going to feel secure and the seller is going to be feel okay if it’s okay to sell the car and there’s nothing wrong with the car,” Urdaneta said.
The BBB some other red flags could be a pushy seller or a car that’s priced much lower than its value. Callegari says he wishes he had gone to the DMV with the seller.