Strange solicitation leads business owner to Contact 2

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Consumers have more options than ever when it comes to buying and selling cars. These days a lot of those deals go down online. Jay Grosman and his company iAuto Agent help people with those transactions.

"We actually got the email through our website. I blew it off because it just seemed like it wasn't a real person contacting me," Grosman said.

A few days later, the emailer called Grosman's office about the car.

"When I was on the phone with this person he sounded completely normal," he said.

Grosman said the man told him he was trying to transfer money online to iAuto Agent to buy the car. During the vetting process, the man sent Jay a Michigan driver's license.

"If you look at the license, it has all the holograms and everything. It looks completely real," he said. "Same address he told me."

But something seemed off. Grosman thought it could be a scam, so he called Contact 2. Our Contact 2 Team reached out to the Michigan Secretary of State's Office and sent them the license picture. A representative couldn't say if it was real or fake but confirmed a man with that name and address was issued a Michigan driver's license.

We dug further and found property records also connecting the man to the address on the license.

Meanwhile, Grosman was weighing whether to say deal or no deal to the guy who now wanted iAuto's account number to deposit the money.

"There's a lot of money that goes in and out of that account and he might just take a little at a time and nobody would ever know," Grosman said.

Ultimately, Grosman said he nixed the sale, but the man's weird behavior didn't stop.

"He sent us a belligerent email saying you owe us $100,000 because you wasted my time," he said.

We also experienced a strange exchange with the man. He wouldn't answer our phone calls but responded with a series of cryptic text messages. We never could confirm he was the man he posed to be.

Was this a case of stolen identity? Possibly. A scam? It could've been. It also could've been a legitimate, albeit strange, attempt to buy a car.

So here's the bottom line: do what Grosman did and follow your gut. Protect your account numbers and give Contact 2 a call if you're not sure.

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