How to Avoid Scams When Buying a Used Car ?

 Whether you want to buy a used car from a dealership, directly from the owner, or online, you should take certain precautions before signing any documents. Avoid falling victim to a scam by doing a little research on some of the most common types of used car buying scams before you buy one.

Here are some types of used car buying scams

  1. Title laundering. Generally, vehicles that have been repaired after serious car accidents or natural disasters, such as floods, acquire a “salvage” status. By washing the title, the seller can hide the fact that the car has suffered some type of damage.
  2. “Curbstoning” or street sale by dealer . It is an illegal scheme in which people lure car buyers to places like a vacant lot or on the side of the road and sell them unqualified used cars. This involves car dealers posing as private sellers to avoid national and state regulations related to buying and selling cars.
  3. Odometer fraud. An odometer fraud scam occurs when someone manipulates a vehicle's odometer to make it appear that the vehicle has lower mileage. Whenever possible, request vehicle maintenance records and try to match the records to the actual current odometer reading.
  4. Low price scams. This is too easy. You call the dealer, get a very low quote, visit the dealer to see the car, only to find out that the seller can't get the manager's approval for that price. Research the value of all the used cars you
  5. VIN cloning. Basically, this refers to buying a stolen car. The thief took the vehicle identification number (VIN) of another car and put it on the stolen vehicle. You can avoid VIN cloning scams by looking for matching title and registration information. As well as using common sense, such as being wary of private sellers without fixed addresses.
  6. Used car with false certificate. Simply put, legitimate certified used cars can sell for more than their non-certified counterparts; therefore, some dealers think they can put on a "certified" sticker and sell their used cars for more, and they often do. Protect yourself from this scam knowing Certified Pre-Owned cars come only from franchise dealers.  
  7. Warranty scams. Private sellers sometimes advertise that their late-model vehicles still have active factory warranties. While this may be the case at times, other times warranties have been voided due to issues such as accidents, modifications, commercial use, and other factors.
    DO NOT assume the seller is telling the truth. Contact the manufacturer directly to find out if that car still has an active warranty and request any additional warranty information specific to the car.
  8. Stolen deposit. If a private seller claims you need an advance deposit to take the used car off the market, don't make a deal. Unfortunately, some "sellers" will take the money and walk away. Whenever possible, handle monetary transactions face-to-face and all at once. If the seller insists on a deposit, it might be time to look elsewhere for a used car.
  9. Check for used car tampering. Avehicle history gives you information about previous owners, history of accidents, flooding and other damage from natural disasters, faulty odometer settings, and even if the vehicle was determined to be defective from the factory.
  10. Escrow scams. When a seller runs an escrow scam, they direct you to deposit money into a fake "escrow account." Once the money arrives, the seller and the vehicle disappear. Perhaps the best way to avoid an escrow scam is to do all business face-to-face, including exchanging money. If you must use an escrow account, make sure you use a secure payment network.
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