3 ON YOUR SIDE (3TV) - Amber Sulu loves her SUV. It's a 2017 Chevy Tahoe.
And, because of its size, Sulu says it keeps her kids safe while on the road.
"How does it drive?" 3 On Your Side's Gary Harper asked.
"Oh, amazing," she replied. "It drives nice. We love to travel in it. It's a nice truck."
Sulu says she tries to keep her vehicle looking its best all the time. So, when a stranger, out of nowhere, pulled up next to her and her husband at a red light recently, he piqued their interest.
"He flagged us down and said, 'Hey boss! Hey boss,' because I was with my husband," she said. "'Your car is very ugly with those door dings. Let me fix your car for you. And we're like, 'OK!'"
Sulu and her husband didn't know it at the time but they were about to become victims of something called the Parking Lot Dent Repair Scam. That's when a scammer approaches you, usually in a parking lot or at a red light, and offers to remove door dings and scratches for a couple of hundred bucks.
For Sulu's SUV, the cost was $500.
"It's going to look so much better," she remembers saying at the time. "No more door dings. I was super excited!"
So, she and her husband allowed the self-proclaimed body shop repairman to follow them back to their house where he got to work on that Tahoe.
"We talked to this guy. He was really persuasive," Sulu said. "A nice guy and he was even with his child and we just totally believed him."
At the house, Sulu even posted a short video clip on Instagram of the guy working on her car. Thirty minutes after starting, however, the scammer claimed he was done and said the cost was now $700 because he did more work than anticipated.
Sulu handed over the cash and then she went to look at her SUV.
Sulu couldn't believe her eyes. The scammer had applied an unknown substance to those dings and then covered it with spray coating. And those splotches are all over Sulu's Tahoe, the front, the back. Everywhere.
"When you look at your truck, how do you feel?" Harper asked.
"Angry, I'm so upset," Sulu said.
The scammer maintained the coating he applied had to set overnight and that he'd return the next day to make her vehicle look brand new. But, with money in hand, he never did come back. Instead, he left the outside of Sulu's SUV completely ruined.
And, it gets worse. Sulu's insurance company won't pay to repair the damage.
Sulu says she's left disappointed and embarrassed. And, she wants to warn others out there to not fall for the Dent Repair Scam.
"Don't do it. Absolutely don't do it. He was an amazing salesman. I'll tell you that," she said. "An amazing salesman."
Police were called regarding this situation. But, officers didn't take a report claiming that it's a civil matter. Police frequently say that during these circumstances. Unfortunately, as a result, the scam continues from victim to victim.