Disabled veteran loses $5,000 in car scam - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Disabled veteran loses $5,000 in car scam

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

A disabled vet's dreams are crushed. He says a scammer took his money and did not deliver the dream car he thought he was getting. Now he's reaching out to 12 for help...and to warn others.

Ask Steve Manns about this 1969 Camaro, and you won't be able to get him to stop talking.

"I wanted the car, man," said Manns.

He thought he almost had it, after searching online: a Camaro for sale at just the right price.

"I was told that her husband passed away two months ago," said Manns. "The car just had too many memories. She wanted it to be gone, and that was the line they used on me."

He kept meticulous notes of the exchanges - use a money gram and Google Wallet - but he says he sent nearly $5,000, receiving invoices along the way.

"Once I put it through, then they wanted me to give them a copy of the receipts," said Manns.

And the money gram and the total amount. Which Steve did on his phone. Then he figured out it wasn't Google Wallet that he sent the money through. It was a different website meant to look like a Google product.

And that car never came.

When he checked back in, they told him he had to pay shipping insurance.

"That's when I realized I'm duped. I'm in trouble now. I'm not going to get my car, and I'm not going to get my money back."

For Steve, it's been a heartbreaker.

"I was so blind," said Manns. "I wanted that car so bad. I had a few people tell me 'watch yourself' and this and that. And I didn't do it. I just wanted this car."

In hindsight, the flags were all there: the incredible price, the very specific payment instructions - where they collected receipts and personal information - and the story itself. That one has been used before.

"When you see a car for $4,500, and the next one is $55,000,” said Manns. “That should have told me something right there. I feel stupid. I really do."

Even now, Steve still daydreams about that car and what he lost.

"Even to this day, I don't want my money back," said Manns. "I just want that car."

We did reach out to the folks listed in emails and texts multiple times, but we never heard back.

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