Rental car scam targets Nebraska woman’s grieving relative

A 6 News investigation alerts us to a scam that targeted a senior citizen grieving the loss of a loved one.
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 10:26 PM CDT
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FREMONT, Neb. (WOWT) - A 6 News investigation alerts us to a scam that targeted a senior citizen grieving the loss of a loved one.

The con artists used an internet search tool and a legitimate company name to trick the victim.

A heart condition took her 41-year-old daughter and after the funeral, Kathy Fender discovered a financial loss added to the family’s heartache.

“And it’s just upsetting that I lost my daughter and on top of it, my mom got scammed,” said Fender.

Kathy’s 80-year-old mother came from North Carolina and while here she wanted to visit friends.

“And go to Google and go like this to rent a car. Check out these pictures,” said Fender.

Kathy says her mother called the first number that popped up.

“We are Enterprise sir,” said the alleged scammer.

A response another family heard last year when told to use cash cards for payment.

“Just get the card and load the amount that you need to pay, and we can complete the reservation,” said the alleged scammer.

The same instruction is given to Kathy’s mom.

“And get a gift card and she got a $600 gift card, and she gave it to them and they left her with 10 cents on it and she came out with no car,” said Fender.

The Better Business Bureau has other reports of the same scheme.

“So the bad actors they buy ad words to get the highest rankings when people do searches and the consequence to consumers is that they may not be dealing with who they think they’re dealing with,” said Jim Hegarty, Better Business Bureau.

Enterprise says their car rental representatives will not ask a customer for payment information or credit card numbers over the phone. enterprise only accepts prepaid gift cards at the end of the rental.

She thought she was calling Enterprise but what was the red flag? The gift card. They wanted her to pay with a gift or cash card.

Kathy says her late daughter loved gardening and in her memory, she’s planting a seed of suspicion for any car rental offer that demands a cash card payment upfront.

“She would be very upset if she found out here grandma got scammed,” said Fender.

Enterprise tells 6 News there’s been a drop in these reports but the company is continuing to monitor phony rental car offers.

The Enterprise website has a consumer alert for signs of potential fraud.

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