Woman sold fake car insurance has car towed by city

Because car insurance is so high in some areas, a lot of people are looking for a car insurance deal.

But, remember - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

"How do I know if I had fake insurance if nobody told me?" asked Tracy Martin.

Martin returned to her Detroit home Saturday to find her 2000 Ford F-150 truck was gone. Highland Park police had it towed and left a flier behind.

"Your vehicle has been forfeited for fraudulent insurance" it reads, saying it is from the "Multi Jurisdictional Auto Theft Task Force."

Martin wondered how could this be. She had a receipt from her agent Johnathan Brown dating back to November 2014 and her proofs of insurance and plates were registered from the Secretary of State.

It wasn't until she called Progressive, did she eventually learn she had been duped.

"If I call right now and give them this policy number they will still will explain the whole policy to me," Martin said. "They will explain that I did have insurance but they said the agent I went through paid them with a bogus check and the check is no good, so therefore they had to invalidate the insurance."

Martin claims Progressive never notified her of the fraud and neither did the Secretary of State on east 8 Mile in Detroit, which apparently approved the paperwork from the bogus agent.

"I'm upset with him but more upset with the Secretary of State," she said. "Because he faxed over these papers to you and if they were no good, someone should have red-flagged it."

Martin already had one vehicle towed and was told by the Cobra Auto Theft Task Force made up of Highland Park, Hamtramck and Ecorse police that it would be a matter of time before the other two vehicles would be as well - since they all had the fraudulent insurance.

When Martin asked what it would it take to get her cars back, "He told me there was nothing I could do," she said. "Basically I can buy my car back in auction. I asked how can I buy my car back at auction when I didn't do anything wrong. He said, 'You have false insurance.'"

Highland Park Police Chief Kevin Coney said the charge is a felony and Martin will have to meet with the task force to prove her case.

Not only is Martin out of the insurance money, and what she's been paying each month, she will now have to fork out a few thousand more to get her cars back.

"I feel like a victim," she said. "Like you just wrongfully accused me. You haven't charged me with anything. But you are going to come take my vehicle and try to sell it back? That's not fair."

A spokesperson with the Secretary of State says they have had a couple of complaints of the same situation out of Hamtramck and said it will look into how this happened and who approved this.

FOX 2 also put in calls to Progressive insurance after business hours and is still waiting to hear back. Martin suspects other victims are out there.

Martin tried to contact her insurance agent but says the number is disconnected. 

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