How to Save Yourself from Car Scams

How to Save Yourself from Car Scams

Car scams are a serious problem for car buyers and sellers. According to the FTC, car scams are among the most common types of consumer fraud in the US, affecting millions of people and causing billions of dollars in losses every year.

Car scams can take many forms and use different tactics to deceive or manipulate unsuspecting car buyers or sellers. In this article, we will provide you with some tips on how to spot and avoid common car scams, such as:

  • Spoof pages: These are fake ads that advertise cars that do not exist or belong to someone else. Scammers use spoof pages to collect personal or financial information from potential buyers or to get them to pay for a car that they will never receive.
  • Fake escrow accounts: These are fraudulent services that claim to act as a third party between buyers and sellers. Scammers use fake escrow accounts to trick buyers into sending money to them instead of the actual seller.
  • Title washing: This is a practice of altering or removing information from a car’s title to hide its history of damage or salvage. Scammers use title washing to sell cars that have been flooded, wrecked, or stolen for a higher price than they are worth.
  • Odometer fraud: This is a practice of tampering with a car’s odometer to lower its mileage and make it appear newer or more valuable. Scammers use odometer fraud to sell cars that have more wear and tear than they claim.
  • Curbstoning: This is a practice of selling cars that are not registered or insured by the seller. Scammers use curbstoning to avoid taxes, fees, or regulations that apply to legitimate car dealers.

To spot and avoid these car scams, you should follow these tips:

  • Use reputable websites or platforms, such as Bing Autos or CarGurus, to search for and compare cars
  • Verify the seller’s identity and reputation, such as by checking their profile, reviews, ratings, or feedback
  • Request a vehicle history report, such as from Carfax or AutoCheck, to check the car’s background and condition
  • Inspect the car in person and test its features and functions
  • Pay through secure methods, such as PayPal or, that offer buyer protection and dispute resolution
  • Be wary of low prices, multiple listings, poor grammar, fake contact details, requests for personal or financial information, requests for payment in advance, unsolicited offers, pressure tactics, emails or websites that look like they are from real companies but have typos or different domains

By following these tips, you can protect yourself and your money from car scammers and have a smooth and successful car transaction. Stay safe and happy shopping!

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