June 30, 2016 By Christian Murray
A Woodside woman outsmarted two hucksters who tried to tell her she needed auto repairs and warned residents at the 108 Police Precinct meeting in Sunnyside Tuesday not to fall for their trap.
Frances Kraemer, a Woodside resident who is in her 70s, told the story of what happened to her while she was driving along Skillman Avenue.
“I stopped at the light and the guy comes up and says, ‘Your car is on fire! Your car is on fire! Pull over, pull over.’”
Kraemer admitted that she was stunned by these claims and pulled over.
“Another guy came up and then asked me to open the hood, which I did,” she said. She then said that man then told her that there was smoke coming out of her car.
One of the men said: “I’m your guardian angel, I can fix that.”
Kraemer said she told him, “My mechanic is my guardian angel,” at which point she left. She said that the men had loosened her radiator cap.
Months later Kraemer said she was driving along Queens Boulevard and the same two men approached her and tried to pull off the same scam.
“I guess they target old people,” she said.
“One of them yelled out: ‘Your car is on fire, pull over, pull over,’” Kraemer said. She pulled over and took down the license plate of the car the men happened to be driving. The men realized what she was doing and drove off.
“So, I followed them [in my car]. I wanted to stick it to them. Let them know that you can’t do that to people,” Kraemer said. She ended up giving up her pursuit soon after.
Kraemer said that she called the 108 Precinct and 311 to notify of them of the scam but no one pursued her case.
However, she said her goal is to get the word out that the scam is taking place in the neighborhood. She said that she knows people who have paid these men money for fake mechanical work.