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July 07, 2015

Nobody is unaware of the online car buying scams. If you are a buyer or a seller, one or the other day you might have fallen prey to such online scammers. If not, try not to in future. Online car selling is a massive industry and even after cross-checking all the essentials, one can fall in the trap. Here's today's reality about the perils of online curbsiding and online car-buying scams.

Escrow Account Car Scam

This is the most common type of online car selling scam, sellers lure used car buyers by advertising a car on an online classifieds website keeeping the price very low. The price ie typically too good to be true for that matter. The seller may claim hardship to meet, he may claim to be located abroad, and may even offer to pay shipping fess to strike a deal.

In some cases, scammers even go too far by duplicating the logo and website design of a legitimate car dealer and advertise irresistible prices. The seller may ask the buyer to deposit funds into an escrow account not of your own choice. This could cost you thousand dollars if the deal hasn't been established by thoroughly verifying all the details.

The Title Car Washing Scam

online car car sales scams
This scam is related to the reality of the car. When a car is wrecked and repaired , when a car is damaged by a natural disaster like a flood, or when a car is stolen and recovered, it is referred to as salvaged vehicle, and the vehicle's title will reflect this status.

Therefore, this title car washing scam hides the actual status of the car from the buyer. However, the rules and regulations exists to wash a title, but vary from place to place. Some sellers remove this stigma of salvaged car status to gain profits. Because the entire resposibility of the car is on the buyer after he owns it.

So, it is important to get the history of used car for sale from a reputable source.

The overpayment scam

When the seller posts his car for sale, he is contacted by a prospective buyer who offers a cashier's cheque immediately along with additional funds to cover shipment of the car overseas. When the cheque arrives, the seller is asked to deposit it and wire coverage to the “shipper.” When this is done and the wire transfer picked up, the “buyer” breaks contact and the seller is left on the hook to their bank for the fraudulent check and the missing funds.

Odometer Fraud

Digital odometer meant to be less susceptible to meddling, could be even easier to manipulate. A buyer can lose as much as 80% of the money spent buying a car with an odometer rollback. The seller fraud the buyer by manipulating the the number of miles his/her car had travelled. NHTS estimates that consumer lose billions of dollars to odometer fraud each year and upto 1 in 10 used car sold may have had their ododmeters tampered with. Buyers must check in advance, the history of the car and potential odometer rollback, if done by the seller.

Curbstoning Car Scam

Curbstoners are car dealers that pose as private individuals in order to defraud consumers or skirt the FTC rules pertaining to selling used cars. Such frauders post ads in various classified sites such as Craigslist and pretend to be the owner just ryting to sell their vehicle. It may not seem as serious as a problem, but these curbstoners are not only breaking the law, but are ususally selling vehicles with hidden problems that can affect its safety and value. Basically, they sell vehicles that no reputable dealer would touch.

Always make sure to get the history of vehicle for sale. You must also ask to see the seller's driver'sd license along with the car's title. Don't buy the vehicle if the names don't match.

The Low Payment Car Scams

This scam works on the basis of EMI, if you are buyer and you depend on monthly payments for buying the car, the dealer may take its benefits. He will add profit by inflating the price of the car, asking for bigger down payment, and by extending the length of the loan or lease to make the payment fit your requirement.

Always focus on the price of the car, the down payment, the interest and the loan terms. You could always count the amount you need to pay for the car. Better yet, arrange your financing ahead of time so that the dealer cannot pull this scam.

This phenomena of buying and selling cars online is not going to stop because of these scams, but you could always try to be safe in order to keep yourself safe.
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