Warns Consumers of Auto Scams

Share Article Tells Car Buyers and Sellers how to Avoid Being Taken for a Ride

A recent scam involving the buying and selling of cars online has car-shoppers and car-sellers thinking twice before heading to online classified sites. A good deal is often hard to pass up, especially when it comes to buying a car. The internet offers so many choices and varying degrees of savings and opportunities to buy a vehicle at a discount, but the online auto market is also swimming with scammers waiting to swindle customers of their hard-earned money. urges car-buyers and sellers alike to be extremely diligent when considering purchasing or selling a car online.

Often ads for high-end luxury vehicles and sports cars are posted on online classifieds sites with photographs and legitimate sounding descriptions designed to dupe potential car buyers into believing they are getting a great deal. Or in other cases common cars are advertised at prices well below their fair market value accompanied with a story from the seller that explaining why they have to sell the car at the rock bottom price, examples have included nasty divorces, military personnel having to ship out unexpectedly, estate sales and more. When the prospective car-buyer e-mails or calls the so-called 'seller', they are told that the car is located across the country or overseas and needs to be transported at the buyer’s expense via wire transfer or money order. As soon as the transaction is complete the fraudulent seller disappears with the victimized perspective buyer’s money.

But buyers aren’t the only ones getting suckered by online scammers; genuine sellers are also being victimized by these online auto scams. Individuals posing as perspective buyers will email a seller indicating that they are interested in the car. The fraudulent buyer will then offer to write the seller a check for more than the price of the car to cover the cost of shipping. The fraudulent buyer requests that the seller refunds the excess amount from the cost of shipping. Meanwhile, the seller ships the car, and also sends the refund amount from the transport cost. However, when seller cashes the fraudster’s check, the check bounces, and the buyer disappears.

What can consumers do to protect themselves?

  •     If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of unrealistic deals.
  •     Select an escrow service linked to a reputable site. Never do business with sellers who insist on only using a specific escrow service.
  •     Ask for information that will allow you to verify the seller or buyer’s identity. Get a phone number, address and references, once you’ve obtained this info use Public Record Finder to verify the individual’s information and even run a background check to get information like current address, criminal record, address history and civil judgments.
  •     Trust your gut. If anything seems suspicious, thoroughly question the suspect party. Con artists generally back once they sense you’re on to them.

About is a leading provider of consumer and enterprise services that enable users to search online public records.’s Public Records Search provides access for a fee to an instant report that may include phone, date of birth, relatives, address, average home value, marriage/divorce records and more. Its access to more detailed Background Check feature enables users to search individuals to get a complete background summary that includes information from criminal checks, sex offender checks, bankruptcies, contact information, property information and more.

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