Even borrowers with problem credit should know about this online con game that could end up taking their auto loan down payment
Here at Auto Credit Express we know that if they’re not careful, anyone can be taken in by an online scam. But it’s especially important that consumers with poor credit – many of whom don’t have the money to lose –be aware of a twist on the auto loan down payment scam.
We understand why this is important because for more than twenty years we’ve been helping car buyers with bad credit searching for online car loans find those new car dealers that can give them their best opportunities for car loan approvals.
But not always knowing this opportunity is available in some instances these car buyers start to look for a good deal on a vehicle they can pay for in cash.
So with this money in hand they begin their internet search for a good deal – sometimes leading to disastrous results.
Double dip scam
Because borrowers with poor credit are sometimes desperate for a vehicle, they can often be easy marks for online scam artists. We were reminded of this after checking out an article from the Internet Crimes Complaint Center (IC3) – a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center.
Here are some excerpts from it:
Most of us are familiar with fraud involving automobiles being sold over the Internet. A fraudster will post a nonexistent vehicle for sale on the Internet, typically a luxury or sports car. The details of the vehicle, including photos and description, are typically lifted from legitimate websites. An interested buyer, hopeful for a bargain, responds and is told that the vehicle is located overseas. The fraudster then instructs the victim to send a deposit via wire transfer to initiate the shipping process.
In a new twist to this scam, the fraudster advised there was an issue with the initial wire transfer and sent the victim a cashier’s check.
The victim was instructed to cash the check and resend a second wire to a different account. Unaware that the check was counterfeit, the victim followed through as instructed by the fraudster. This resulted in the victim getting duped two times and the fraudster accomplishing his “double-dipping” strategy.
Victims should be vigilant when an Internet transaction involves wire transfers and cashier’s checks. Most individuals believe that cashier’s checks are as good as cash and they clear the day after they are deposited. However, banks are required to make the funds “available” in the individual’s account within 48 hours, which can be days before the cashier’s check clears or bounces. Once the bank makes the funds available, the counterfeit check circulates to incorrect Federal Reserve locations. Generally, the average cashier’s check takes up to two weeks to clear, not two days. The bottom line: fraudsters understand the U.S. banking system process and capitalize on victims’ misconceptions of the term “available funds.”
For more information about this scam, click on the following link that will take you to the IC3 website: http://www.ic3.gov/media/2011/110510.aspx.
The Bottom Line
Our advice to consumers with credit issues is this: be careful when car shopping online. In most cases, if a great deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
One more tip: before trying something like this, check us out first. At Auto Credit Express we match people that have experienced auto credit difficulties with new car dealers that can offer them their best opportunities for approved car loans.
So if you’re ready to reestablish your car credit, you can begin now by filling out our online car loan application.