Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Ray Buick Sounds an Alarm About Scammers Offering Cut-Rate Repairs

Don’t fall for fast-talking con artists, Gieselmann says

By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

One of the Chicago area’s most established and respected
names in automobiles is sounding a note of caution to local car owners about con artists posing as mechanics.

Ray Gieselmann of Ray Buick, 5011 W. 63rd St., said last week that he has heard reports of scam artists posing as auto mechanics, attempting to bilk motorists out of money in exchange for repairs that don’t happen.

“These scammers look at your vehicle (in traffic or in a parking lot) and notice your dealership plate frames/decals,” he said. “They stop you and start a conversation. They claim they work for the dealership named on your vehicle, and that they have serviced your car in the past. They then claim to see something wrong with your car, like a dent.”

The crooks offer to fix the problem on the spot, for a fraction of what it might cost at a dealership. Motorists looking for a bargain are lulled into trusting the fake mechanic and pay right away.
“They are very polite and smooth, and they make it sound like they are doing you a favor. Further, they prevent you from checking out the validity of their claim by saying something like, ‘I shouldn’t be doing this’ or ‘Don’t tell the dealer about this or I could get fired.’”

Gieselmann said that two Ray Buick customers he knows of—an elderly man and a middle-aged woman—have been approached by such scammers.

Police often tell people that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is; and they take special care to warn senior citizens, who often can be more trusting and less skeptical than a younger person.

Gieselmann, 34, a scion of a family that has owned Ray Buick since 1953, said motorists should have their vehicles serviced at a shop they know and trust. Ray Buick, for example, has long employed GM-certified mechanics that are trained and re-trained so that their skills are always current. In fact, Gieselmann’s brother, Greg, is head of Ray Buick’s service department, ensuring efficiency for maintenance and mechanical work.

“Earning the trust of the neighborhood means quite a bit to us,” Gieselmann said. “It’s why we have so many repeat customers, both in terms of people buying cars and having them serviced.”

Gieselmann is the fourth “Ray” at Ray Buick, in a line started by his great-grandfather. Gieselmann’s young son, also named Ray “will be welcome to work here one day, as well, if he’d like that,” he said. “We are a family-owned and operated business and proud of that.”

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