Auto Connections Fresh Start Financing Scam, False Identity, Lie, Fraud, Pretending to be a bank/broker, Manassas Virginia
Received a call from a company claiming to be Fresh Start Financing. Told me I was selected to be part of a new study program where the automotive industry were allowing select individuals to participate and receive a loan solely based off of income; not credit report. The gentleman that called me, Chris, promised that I would qualify based only on my income as long as it exceeded $1500 per month. Upon discussing that and meeting their requirement, I was transferred to their Finance Manager Tina. Tina explained the Auto Industry study program, basically reinterating what Chris had already told me. Tina further went on to say based on my income, I was pre-authorized $28,000.00 to purchase any vehicle I choose. Tina also stated that I had the freedom to select my own payment as long as it wasn't a far fetched super low payment.
Chris came back on and explained Fresh Start Financing was a brokerage firm. They get the funding and send to the dealership. The dealership has 5 banks they work with, and they would set me up with one of the banks. Chris also stated the only dealership they work with in the MD/VA/DC area was Auto Connection in Manassas, VA. Chris stated if the dealership doesn't have the vehicle I want, I simply tell them what I do want and they will go get it.
The only catch to this program was, that I had to set up an appointment and keep that appointment or I would lose the promise of zero money down offer. I set up an appointment and kept receiving calls from Fresh Start to ensure I was going to make that appointment. I had already told Chris that I would not be able to keep the first appointment and he stated to call him back the next day to reschedule. I also told him I did some on-line research of Auto Connections and noticed they did not have anything in their inventory I was interested in. I was not going to drive 2.5 hours to sit and wait for a vehicle, could they pre-order the vehicle and have it waiting. Chris stated just go to Auto Traders.com and type in 20111 in the zip code box. Look for what I want, write down the info and give to the dealership and they would go get it same day.
Day of appointment arrives, I pack the family, including my special needs child, into our van and start heading south on a 2.5 hour drive. We even received a call from Fresh Start to ensure we were keeping this appointment. We finally arrived and immediately note there were maybe a dozen vehicles period on the lot. None of which had dealership signs posted on the windows telling you about it. We were specifically instructed to sign in and contact, Tony, Jay, or Chris. A dealer quickly approached us. I told him we had an appointment and needed to see one of three men named above. He stated, I'll get you signed in and your application started. He stated they were the Managers, and would not talk to me until I completed the application process. As we are completing the application, he hands me a form to sign for them to run a credit check. I explained I was told I was pre-approved, the money was already set aside by this Brokerage called Fresh Start Financing, gave him my approval number, etc... He stated he wasn't sure why they stated no credit check, because no bank will touch you without one. I reluctantly sign the form. He runs the paperwork back to the Manager.
I try to call Fresh Start and inquire about the credit check. The Manager's are busy, will call me back. The dealership Manager comes out and asks what I want. I tell him the type of vehicle and he kind of laughed and told me it wouldn't happen. I explained the Fresh Start Brokerage, and he acted like he had never heard of them. Then he saw my van and wanted me to trade it in. We quickly packed up and left pretty pissed off.
Did an address search on-line while driving home for Fresh Start Financing. Turns out they were in the Auto Connections Building!! They were the same people!! They made it seem like they were two separate organizations when it was just one.
Huge scam!!!! Stay away from these people!