Con artists cash in as DMV impostors

| 8/12/2004

A creative con game that police in Montebello, CA, say they haven’t seen before has resulted in a number of drivers being tricked into paying for fake driving tests by people impersonating Department of Motor Vehicles staff at an office temporarily closed for remodeling.

According to police reports, motorists who did not know that the state office was closed beginning July 9 paid the imposters $20 each for driving tests. The con artists, dressed in shirts with DMV printed on them, reportedly approached the drivers as they walked up to the doors of the building.

Lynda Carter of the Montebello Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit said the drivers subsequently failed the bogus tests.

There are legitimate DMV officials at the location. They are working out of trailers in the parking lot and are giving driving tests for commercial drivers only. All other services are shut down. The office usually serves about 1,200 people each day when all services are operating.

The impostors, if caught, face fraud charges, which could be either felony or misdemeanor charges depending on the outcome of an investigation.

Police are asking the public to report any details about the activity by calling (323) 887-1313.