St. Louis man says scam artist used bad check to buy Mercedes

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by Chris Stanford / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on May 3, 2013 at 7:57 PM

Updated Thursday, May 23 at 2:36 PM

(KMOV.com) -- A St. Louis man thought he sold a Mercedes-Benz for the right price, but now he's out a lot of money and doesn’t want it to happen to anyone else.
 
The transaction happened in the Central West End, and it was all captured on surveillance camera. The victim is hoping someone recognizes the buyer in the video and notifies police.
 
“Honestly, I feel like my life has been brought to a screeching halt,” said Rod Combs.
 
Combs found a buyer on Autotrader.com who came to pick up the car on Thursday night. Combs said he believed there was no reason the deal would go wrong.
 
“He seemed like a genuine person," said Combs.
 
The buyer reportedly gave Combs a Florida driver’s license with the name David L. Smith. Combs even took a picture of the license.
 
“When I asked him for information, he gave it to me," said Combs. "When I asked him for his license, he gave it to me. No questions."
 
Here's where the transaction went wrong: since it was after hours at the bank, they could only verify the account on the cashier's check, but not the amount. Combs let the buyer drive off, something he now regrets.
 
Combs said he found out the next morning there was no money.
 
“I just felt at that time, like my life had ended,” he says.
 
By then, the buyer was long gone with the Mercedes, and he was not answering his phone.
 
“You always see victims and say, ‘I hope that never happens to me,’ but now we're the victims," said Combs. "I can sympathize with anybody."
 
The SUV has been reported stolen, and could still be located by the manufacturer's security system.

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