Motorist scammed by phony HERO

June 10, 2011 at 4:58 pm Leave a comment

By  Mike Morris

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

10:18 a.m. Friday, June 10, 2011Metro Atlanta drivers have a new danger to be wary of, according to the state Department of Transportation – a phony HERO operator charging disabled motorists for assistance.

David Spear, spokesman for the DOT, said that earlier this month, a motorist whose vehicle had a flat tire on I-75 near Moore’s Mill Road was scammed by a man claiming to be a DOT Highway Emergency Response Operator, or HERO.

“The driver said an individual clad in a gray safety vest and driving what he recalled being a white Dodge pickup truck stopped and identified himself as a DOT employee,” Spear said.

The man took the motorist’s wheel rim, $100 and left, promising to get a new tire mounted on the rim, Spear said. “He never returned,” Spear said.

Spear said real HEROs “drive easily identifiable [DOT] trucks, wear department uniforms and have DOT identification.”

HEROs do not charge for assistance and will not solicit or accept tips for rendering aid, according to Spear, who also warned of a second recent scam targeting job seekers with the promise of DOT jobs.

He said a man is reportedly identifying himself as a job recruiter and approaching individuals at job fairs throughout the metro area.

“He apparently offers employment with the Georgia DOT as a ‘freight inspector’ or mobile truck ‘weigh station’ operator in exchange for $75 application and $12 background-check fees, which he instructs the individuals to wire to what prove to be fraudulent entities,” Spear said.

“As a general rule, the department does not utilize employment recruiters,” he said. “Nor does it ever charge job applicants any fee whatsoever.”

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Entry filed under: Traffic, Trasportation. Tags: .

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