Avoiding Used Car Scammersby Steve Cypher on Saturday, September 22nd, 2012
Although credit-challenged car shoppers usually won’t come across many of the issues we’ll touch on today, it’s another reason why we recommend buying a vehicle through a licensed new car dealer.
With that in mind, we still want consumers out there with bad credit to be aware of what can happen, once their car credit is reestablished, if they decide to go the private seller route. Here at Auto Credit Express we feel this information is important because we’ve spent the last two decade helping car loan applicants with credit issues find dealers that can arrange for car loan approvals.
Internet car shopping
The internet has changed the way most consumers approach the car buying process. In particular, a belief among many consumers is that that purchasing a vehicle over the internet results in a “better deal” than buying from a car dealer.
In fact, the internet has been a boon for private sellers – individuals that can now market their vehicles to thousands of more customers than in the past.
But online selling has been an advantage to unscrupulous sellers who can now more easily sell wrecked, damaged and even stolen vehicles.
New car dealers
Licensed used car dealers and franchised new car dealers are subject to both state and federal regulations. These dealers must maintain a physical place of business and sell only from that location. Most new car dealers have been in business and supporting their communities for years – this means not only are they here now, they’ll also be there tomorrow.
That is not always true of private party internet sellers as the story behind a press release from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) points out.
A real story
According to the NICB, one story of seller fraud had its beginnings on February 1st, 2008 when a 2007 Cadillac Escalade was stolen from its owner in Coral Gables, Florida. The vehicle’s VIN plate was then removed and substituted with a counterfeit plate with the thieves subsequently obtaining a clean New York title.
Using this title, the vehicle was sold through a major online auction site to a limousine company located in Orange, California. The company performed a conversion and sold what was now an Escalade limousine to a Texas businessman for $125,000.
When the new owner attempted to re-title it in Texas that state’s DMV ran the VIN through the NCIB which uses a database supplied by Experian Automotive. This check established the Escalade’s VIN as being counterfeit.
On July 10th, 2008, an agent from the NICB, accompanied by a Texas Department of Public Safety auto theft investigator, located the Escalade in Corpus Christi and seized it from the limousine buyer.
“Consumers need to exercise sound judgment when buying used vehicles from private parties or online services,” said Joe Wehrle, NICB president and chief executive officer. “In this case an innocent purchaser may be out thousands of dollars as a result of this transaction. So, if in doubt, check it out carefully before you hand over the cash.”
According to the NICB, anyone can use its free VINCheck® system to verify a legitimate VIN number simply by visiting the organization’s web site at www.nicb.org.
The Bottom Line
If we were given a choice of buying a vehicle from a private seller we might never see again or from a licensed and franchised new car dealer, we’d choose the dealer every time.
One more thing: Auto Credit Express specializes in helping people with credit difficulties find dealers for their best chance at receiving auto loan approvals.
So if you’re serious about getting your auto credit back on track, you can begin now by filling out our online auto loans application.
Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau