One person who rents their car through carsharing company Turo reports that a customer sold their car on Craigslist in a notable history of scams.
The incident is being publicized on TikTok via creator Marlon Walls (@deucewalls), which has amassed nearly 300,000 views as of Sunday. In the clip, Walls describes an episode that “goes straight to the top [his] List of craziest things that happened [him] as a rental car owner.”
“We had someone who wanted to book our Chevy Suburban offline for two days,” he explains. “We went through our normal remote check-in process and they came to collect the car on Wednesday morning. She was supposed to be back on Friday morning, but she called Thursday evening and wanted two more days. So I sent her a renewal request but she never paid for the renewal.”
@deucewalls This is one of the craziest stories we’ve had in the rental car business… As for part 2 of the story! #turo #turohost #turohostproblems #turorentals #turorental #powerhost #rentalcar #rentalcars #carrental #carrentals #rideshare #rentmycars #rentmyride ♬ Original sound – Marlon Walls
From there, Walls says he became suspicious and parked the car Friday night after it was due. Using GPS tracking, he says, he was able to locate his car — and found it in someone’s driveway with the tire off and the tracker disconnected.
“The house belonged to an elderly lady,” he notes. “And she wasn’t the one renting from us, so I asked her if she knew the person.”
The woman who owned the car was shocked – as Walls reveals, “She didn’t know this car was a rental because she actually bought it from the lady who rented it from us!”
He says how the original “customer” allegedly put the 2019 Chevy Suburban on Craigslist and sold it for $18,000.
In a follow-up video, Walls reveals that the person who tried to sell his rental car was arrested a few weeks later trying the same trick with another car. The elaborate scheme involved creating a fake title for the car, which police believed was the real thing. Walls used the story to tout the merits of GPS trackers.
@deucewalls You guys definitely asked for it so here’s part 2 of the story!! Get a GPS tracker and leave your opinion in the comments! #turo #turohost #turohostproblems #turorentals #turorental #powerhost #rentalcar #rentalcars #carrental #carrentals #rideshare #rentmycars #rentmyride ♬ Original sound – Marlon Walls
Some were amazed that Craigslist is still active, adding that the retail price for this particular car is too good a prospect to be true.
“Wow, I feel for the lady,” one person remarked. “She lost all the money.”
Another noted, “These people must be asking themselves: why would anyone sell me a car in this market at a lot below face value?”
“I hope people learn from this,” advised another. “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”
The Daily Dot reached out to the creator via TikTok comment and Turo via email.
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*Initial publication: April 9, 2023 at 12:11 p.m. CDT
Phil West is a veteran professional writer and editor and the author of two books on soccer, The United States of Soccer and I Believe That We Will Win, both from The Overlook Press. His work has most recently appeared in The Striker, where he serves as Editor-in-Chief, MLSSoccer.com, Next City and Texas Highways. He lives in Austin and is also an instructor in the Writing Program at the University of Texas at San Antonio.