Beware these growing scams when buying a used car…
Used car sales scams are as old as car themselves, however things are worse then ever thanks to sky-high prices. Carfax is sounding the alarm as it sees a surge in three common scams innocent shoppers could fall for, landing them in a world of hurt if they take the bait.
Learn why car dealerships and automakers could be cyberattack targets here.
The first is sellers pushing stolen vehicles. They have in hand a title and registration, everything looks legitimate, so car shoppers gladly buy what seems like a great deal. Then a police officer runs the VIN and the vehicle is confiscated as stolen property. To guard against this, you should run the VIN through Carfax or other services, including the free NICB VinCheck Lookup tool. After all, crooks can forge documents that look very convincing.
Next up on the scam trends Carfax has noticed is on the rise is flood cars coming out of California. With plenty of cars in the state left underwater, scammers have been scooping up the leftovers for cheap, gussying them up, then selling them to unsuspecting shoppers. We’ve detailed out the red flags indicating a vehicle might have been flooded here. Again, a service where you look up the VIN can help guard against this pitfall.
Finally, there are odometer rollbacks where sellers use black market devices to hack into the car’s odometer so the numbers don’t reflect the true mileage. While you can look at the condition of a vehicle, including telltale signs like driver’s seat side bolster, steering wheel, and switchgear wear, those aren’t foolproof methods. In case you didn’t already guess, Carfax and other services allow you to confirm if a vehicle’s mileage is accurate or not.
We will caution that the information provided by Carfax and other services isn’t always completely accurate. However, when buying a used vehicle it’s better to check one of multiple databases just in case, or you could make a very expensive mistake.