HARDISON’S TIPS – FEBRUARY 1, 2021 – COMMON SCAMS TARGETING VEHICLE SELLERS
Just as there are scams targeting those who are buying vehicles, particularly online, there are also scammers who set their sights on people who are selling vehicles. A variety of scams exist that target people who are selling vehicles online and elsewhere. You need to do everything that can to help prevent scams but we also want to make sellers aware of common scams so that they too can identify when something seems suspicious.
Vehicle History Report Scammers
Recently, a new scam has come to the attention of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that targets vehicle sellers. In this scam, people who have advertised their car for sale online receive calls or texts from potential buyers who say that they are interested in purchasing the vehicle, but first, want to see the vehicle history report. They request that the seller obtain the report from a website link the interested potential buyer provides. At this website, the seller is asked to enter personal information and pay $20 via credit card for the report. The seller gets the report and sends it to the so-called interested buyer, never hearing from that “buyer” again.
The main clue here that this is a scam is the website link that the so-called buyer provides. If the link ends in .vin, watch out. This site could be a scam designed to obtain your personal and credit card information, which the scammers then use for their own benefit. It might also be for lead generation, in which the scammers sell your information to marketers.
The best way to avoid becoming a victim of this type of scam is to only obtain a vehicle history report from well-known, reputable sites with which you are familiar. When you sell your vehicle through Trusted Sale, we provide the vehicle report for you, free of charge – so you don’t have to worry one bit about this common scam.
Common Classified Ads Scammers
Another common scam targeting people selling cars occurs on Craigslist and within other classified ad sites (both online and in print).
How can you protect yourself from falling victim to such scammers?
Make sure to speak with the buyer directly prior to meeting them. Don’t let the buyer hide behind text or email. Obtain and research the buyer’s name and contact information on the Internet ahead of time in order to get as much information about them as you can prior to meeting them in person.
If you sell through a trusted site, you can verify the buyer’s identity to ensure that you know exactly who you are meeting with. Also facilitate communication with the buyer and we handle the transaction to ensure that you don’t walk away empty-handed.
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