Woman who moved to Daytona Beach scammed by bogus car transport company

This past summer Donna Coppola was looking forward to packing up her life in Massachusetts and settling in Daytona Beach. She found a company within her budget, that agreed to move her Ford Mustang the 1,200 miles for $600.

"I paid them a deposit via Venmo. It was $150. Signed a contract, and so when they delivered the car to Florida, I would just have to pay the balance to them when I received the vehicle," Coppola explains.

But on the day of pickup in Massachusetts, Coppola says the transport truck didn’t show up.

When she called the movers, she said they told her, "the driver, their truck carrier broke down, and they were getting it repaired, but they were searching for another driver that could still pick up my car that day." Coppola continued, "I get another message saying, ‘ I looked around, 25 different drivers. I did find one who’s able to do the job today, but for a different price.’ I said what’s the price? And it was $1,050. So I said I can’t pay that because I signed a contract."

Since she was on a tight moving deadline, Coppola says she was forced to find another company to ship her car at the last minute, essentially paying double what she had budgeted to ship her car.

To this day, Donna still hasn’t gotten the $150 deposit back from the original company she hired. So FOX 35 tried to get it back for her. In more than a dozen phone calls we were hung up on, sent to voicemail and even told we were being transferred directly to the owner.

Holly Salmons of the Better Business Bureau of Central Florida says, "There are different red flags that are really only going to be visible if you do your own homework.

Here are three things Salmons says you can do to avoid falling victim in a situation like this:

  1. If you feel like you’re being rushed into an agreement, pump the brakes, ask for more time to make a decision because you want to get more than one quote for services.
  2. Read the fine print and look over your contract in its entirety. Before your vehicle is loaded, make sure you’ve clarified the price, drop off date and location.
  3. Know your rights.

Coppola wished she thought twice about before making a decision to use the company she did. She explained, "After the fact, I feel like I should have known better."