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Money on Windshield Scam – Real or Not? Here Are Reasons to Take Caution


People often believe they are lucky to find money. Turns out it’s not always good luck after all.  Police are cautioning drivers to be aware of crimes involving cash left on windshields of vehicles. Newsweek shared that counterfeit money has been left on windshields of parked cars to distract drivers for the purpose of stealing their vehicles. While this scam might not be as widespread as some suggest, it’s important that people remain vigilant, behave wisely, and note ways in which carjackers lure people to reduce the odds of becoming a victim.

Car theft is a major concern for drivers across the U.S.A. Per insurify.com, an average of one vehicle is stolen in the U.S. every 36 seconds. Thus, the problem is real. Studies show that auto thefts are most common in the western states to include California. However, automobile thefts are also rising in many cities, as well as in some rural communities. Carjackings, defined as auto thefts that usually happen in the presence of the victim, are up in many cities. In some incidents, a weapon may be used. There are times when a victim is tricked into exiting their vehicles. Newsweek describes how the money on the windshield scam works in that manner. Car thieves place fake money under the windshield wiper of a parked vehicle. They wait for the owner to return. The owner gets into the vehicle and starts the car, then sees the money and opens the door to remove the money. Once the car is running and the door is open, the thieves rush in to take the vehicle.

Some groups claim that the money on the windshield story is simply an old urban legend – and state that it is not an actual theft tactic that most criminals use. However, due to the uncertainty of motives, it’s best to report suspicious incidents to the police. Whenever possible, drivers should minimize carjacking risks by parking in well-lit and well trafficked spaces away from secluded areas, dumpsters, or large vans or trucks, all which serve to reduce visibility. Folks are encouraged to stay alert and look around the vehicle to make sure the area is safe before exiting. Always secure windows and doors by closing and locking them and by taking the car keys with you. Additionally, never leave valuables in the car or leave a vehicle running unattended or with children inside. Above all, if you ever feel threatened, dial 911 immediately or drive to the nearest police or fire station for help.

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