Follow-up Friday: Flat tire blues and spear-phishing attacks


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Steve Sbraccia has these updates on stories about spear-Fishing and vanishing spare tires that we brought you this week.

DON’T SPARE THE SPARE

On Monday, our story on new cars that come with no spares brought an email from a Raleigh man who had a flat in his Prius, which came with no spare.

Not only did Duane Reaugh experience frustration trying to use the car’s tire inflation device and patching material, but he also ran into considerable expense trying to buy replacements for the patching material and a new spare tire for the car.

We reported on Monday that AAA has seen an increase in roadside assistance calls where there is no spare tire.

Between January and Sept of 2016, AAA of the Carolinas says, the group responded to almost 2,500 flat tire calls where there was no spare. Nationally, the agency says, the numbers of ‘no spare’ calls was over 450,000 last year.

When Reaugh got a flat recently, he found out the inflator and patch kit wouldn’t work because his tire had sidewall damage. He also found out once you use the patching powder, it needs to be replaced.

He says when he called Toyota to buy the patch kit, “they want to sell you the whole thing for $189.” He says he didn’t need a new tire inflator unit, just the patching material.

To save money, Ray found the patching powder on-line for $100.

But, he was still nervous about another flat tire, so he also went shopping for a spare tire to carry around in his car.

He says tire stores wanted $150 for a new spare, so he found another way to save.

“I went to a junkyard and they sold me a brand new spare for $35 dollars,” he said.

Now he has peace of mind and a fatter wallet.

SPEAR-PHISHING SCAMMERS

Last Wednesday, CBS North Carolina told you about spear-phishing. That’s where scammers glean specific personal details from your social media to make their emails more specific and believable.

A recent email making the rounds in the last few days purportedly from Netflix is one of those spear-phishing attempts.

The email is directed at you personally and threatens account suspension unless your billing information is updated and you restart your membership.

The tech privacy company Mailguard reports millions of those notices have been sent out, all aimed at grabbing your credit card and other information.

Netflix reminds you on its website that it never asks for any personal information via email and includes passwords, credit cards and social security numbers.

If you’ve received one of those emails, you can report it here.

Email CBS North Carolina’s Steve Sbraccia if you have a consumer issue.

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