North Fulton County

Metro man warns he was scammed out of $800 after googling spoofed number for Budget car rental

ATLANTA — A Sandy Springs man is out hundreds of dollars after thinking he was renting a car from budget car rental.

He googled on his phone looking for the number for Budget Car Rental at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

The customer service agent he talked to -- who he gave his credit card information -- even gave him directions to the Budget counter.

It was only when he arrived at the counter that he learned there was no reservation.

“All I see is Budget rental airport. And I pressed the call button and there you go, you know?” victim Jason Collins said.

Collins was searching Google fast on his phone and called what he thought was Budget Rental Car for an emergency family trip back to South Carolina, where he’s from.

“He said, ‘We got the truck you want.’ He said, ‘We’re here. We got the truck gassed up,’” Collins said.

After paying $800 by credit card, Collins even got an email confirmation with the truck he rented and the Budget logo.

But when he showed up to the Budget counter at the airport, he learned it wasn’t really Budget he was talking to.

“That was the worst thing in the world to watch my wife look upset and how our hard-earned money that we worked so hard, to come to Atlanta, to achieve the American dream … and to get scammed out of that money, it really hurts,” Collins said.

A closer look at the Google entry, it says, “Now-Budget Car Rentals.” Once you click through past the glowing reviews on the front page, you start to see negative reviews with people warning it’s a scam.


So Gray called the number.

“Are you Budget Rental Car?” Gray asked the man who picked up.

“Yes sir,” the man answered.

“You are Budget Rental Car? You can rent me a car?” Gray asked.

“Yes sir,” the man said.

“You’re not a scam artist taking people’s money?” Gray asked the man.

“No sir,” the man said.

The man went on to tell Gray he was ready to rent him a car.

“We’ve heard from people who called this number, you took their money and then when they showed up to Budget…” Gray said before the man on the other end hung up.

“To see that the site still exists and it’s still up there now, that’s an alarming situation because I’m like, who’s responsible for this at the end of the day?” Collins said.

Gray has contacted Google and Budget Rental Car for comment on this story. So far, he has not heard back.