Online car shoppers should beware of suspicious deals and sellers, warned the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently. The agency claims over $44.5 million was unscrupulously taken from consumers through these types of rackets, from 2008 to 2010.
There are different forms of the con, but it usually includes a fake merchant posting an ad on a reputable website (like eBay or Craigslist) offering a deeply discounted price for a vehicle. When the consumer responds to the ad, he or she is typically given a phony explanation as to why the price of the car is so low. The seller will then ask to move the transaction to a different site for reasons of fake security, for example, a false name like eBay Inc. ( the logo and other branding imagery is high-jacked). The scammer will even carry through with the communication and invoicing process in a deceptively processional manner. However, once the money is paid the car will never arrive and the seller will mysterious evaporate into the shadows of the web.
Only deal with verified sources when buying a car or vehicle and always demand to meet a seller in person and see and inspect the vehicle you are purchasing through an online classified service (like Craigslist). Never wire or send any funds in advance of seeing, inspecting and purchasing a vehicle. If in doubt, always walk away.
Buying a car can be an intricate process, but it’s important to be aware about potential scams so you can avoid falling victim to one. As a California consumer advocate and lemon law attorney, Howard D. Silver has a thorough understanding of consumer rights and the possible courses of action a person can take in pursuing reimbursement or compensation. To learn more about your rights, call (855) 341-2611 today.