Local News

Houston Police Say Watch Out for the ‘Wobbly Wheel’ Scam

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The “wobbly wheel” scam is back with five recent incidents on the west side of town in Houston, Texas. KHOU explains that scammers are flagging down drivers by driving up beside them and honking and flashing their lights. Once the driver looks over, they begin telling them that something is wrong with their car, and they need to pull over. If they convince someone to pull over, they will rob them once they’re stopped.

The scam isn’t new. In fact, ABC 13 wrote about it back in April of last year, saying that like the recent outbreak of the scam, the 2016 incarnation was focusing mainly on women. One elderly woman was bullied into paying $600 to two men who “fixed” her wheel. A commenter lamented, “I often like to let people know if their tire looks like it’s flat or they have a tail light out (since you can get pulled over for it) but since these wobbly wheel scam people have come along, I’m afraid to let people know because they might think it’s a scam.”

KHOU says to keep these tips in mind to stay safe on the road with the “wobbly wheel” scam in play: “1. Don’t pull over for anyone except law enforcement. 2. Call HPD’s non-emergency line to report suspicious activity to the HPD Major Offender Swindle Unit. 3. If you think you have an issue, pull over to a well-lit populated area and call for help.”