Tips on how car buyers with problem credit can recognize the signs of used car seller fraud
Being careful out there
Car shoppers looking for easy car loans for no credit typically don’t encounter many of the auto loan issues we’ll be discussing today mainly because these buyers don’t purchase vehicles through private sellers. But it’s also a big reason why we recommend purchasing and financing a vehicle through a licensed new car dealer.
But with that being said we still want consumers with bad credit to be aware of what can happen if they are thinking of going the private seller route for their next car loan once their credit is reestablished. At Auto Credit Express we feel it’s important to share this information because we’ve spent over twenty years helping car loan applicants with credit issues find those dealers that can give them their best opportunities for auto loan approvals.
The internet has changed the way most consumers buy cars. In some cases these buyers believe that purchasing a vehicle over the internet results in a “better deal” than if they were to buy one from a franchised car dealer.
The fact is the internet has been a boon for private party car sales. Instead of parking a car by the side of the road with a “for sale” sign in the window, these sellers can now market their vehicles to thousands of online shoppers.
But online selling has also been an advantage to unscrupulous sellers who can now more easily sell wrecked, damaged and even stolen vehicles.
Franchised car dealers
Unlike online sellers 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. In fact, the majority of new car dealers have been in business and supporting their communities for years – meaning they’re not only here now, chances are they’ll also be around in the future.
That is not always the case with private party internet sellers as the story behind a press release from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) points out.
A true 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, the Texas 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.
As we see it
Given the choice of buying a vehicle from a private seller we might never see again or purchasing one from a licensed and franchised new car dealer, we’d choose the dealer every time.
One more point we’d like to make: here at Auto Credit Express we specialize in helping applicants with problem credit find those dealers that can give them their best chances for approved auto loans.
So if you’re ready to reestablish your car credit, you can begin now by filling out our online auto loans application.