When buying a car online it’s always necessary to take extra precautions. Unless it’s a certified dealership website, beware of asshole scam artists out there. That’s exactly the advice retired New York school administrator Robert Broncatello is now offering. He learned the hard way. Broncatello was shopping online for what he thought was a 2009 Corvette Z06 with less than 19,000 miles on the clock. The dealership, Jones Auto Sales, was listed in Billings, Montana. So far, so good.
Broncatello called the dealer and spoke with the owner, Robert Jones, about the car. The conversation ended with Broncatello believing he found his dream Corvette. Fortunately, he didn’t send any money before seeing the car in-person, but instead bought a one-way ticket to Montana with the intention of buying and driving it home. When he arrived, he learned both car and dealer were a ruse. In fact, the "dealership" was nothing more than an empty public auctions lot. How didn’t he figure this out beforehand? "I wish I knew," Broncatello stated. "It didn’t make any sense to me. Never gotten scammed before. Usually when I find a car online that is a scam, I tell them I’m coming down to look at the car, they call me back and say the car’s just been sold.
But in this case, I spoke over the period of three days. Had conversations with him other than the car. He was having a driver pick me up from the airport and take him over to his dealership…and it doesn’t exist." Local Billings news station, KTVQ, attempted to call Mr. Jones but only briefly spoke with him before he hung up. That number has now been disconnected. Broncatello has no hard feelings despite being out $2,000 for the plane ticket. He only has one message for Jones: " 'Where are you? I’d like to meet you.' That’s what I’d like to say. I’m from New York. Need I say any more?"