Potential towing fraud victims come forward; some lost thousands of dollars in Richmond

Tons of potential victims coming forward to Richmond Police as the city warns of possible towing fraud.
Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 7:36 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Potential victims are coming forward to Richmond Police as the city warns of possible towing fraud.

This comes just 24 hours after NBC12 aired a story about one local company possibly illegally towing and overcharging people.

Police have not released the name of the towing company, but have been investigating for the last three months and will continue to make contact with possible victims of the fraud by mail.

On Your Side Investigators spoke with one man who claims he was ripped off by the towing company, saying his car was wrongly towed. He says he was charged $2,700 when his truck was towed only four miles.

“We were literally sitting hopeless over there,” Muhammad Chaudhary said. “I don’t have enough words to explain the situation.”

He says he has permission from a family friend to park his work vehicle on her private property and pays her a fee to keep it there.

“We went there, we asked them ‘why did you even tow it because the property owner has no contract with you?’ The property owner herself Mrs. Lee showed up to the towing company stating that ‘no, I do not have any contracts with you guys. Why did you guys even tow this truck?’” Chaudhary said.

The owner of the towing company told them they had no choice but to pay $2,700 to get the truck back.

“They threatened me saying ‘if you want this truck out today, you have to bring in cash. If not, tomorrow, it’s gonna be $5,000,’” Chaudhary said.

NBC12 On Your Side Investigators went to that towing company to check it out. The prices posted do not reflect Virginia State Code.

“If you go online and check the reviews, someone just wrote that they came out and they took their car for one mile and they charged them like $700,” Chaudhary said. “That’s like almost a full paycheck for a regular person for a week.”

Chaudhary says the company would only accept cash. No checks, credit cards, or virtual payments were accepted.

At the moment, Richmond Police who issued a warning about the company and are not releasing the name because the Commonwealth’s Attorney hasn’t filed charges.

“It’s just so sad and unfortunate that there are people out there they’re just taking advantage of,” Chaudhary said.

Chaudhary says if the business is not eventually charged with a crime, he would be happy to sue the towing company.

“We can come into the court and do whatever to make sure their business goes down,” Chaudhary said, “I’ll do every possible thing.”

Richmond police want to encourage anyone in the area who believes they were a victim of Illegal towing to email towinginvestigation@rva.gov with any details.