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Watch For Scams Newsletter. Online Car Buying Scams
September 26, 2020

Online Car Buying Scams

Watch For Scams is dedicated to helping you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

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Online Car Buying Scams

The pandemic has driven many consumers to do their shopping online, including automobile purchases.

Be on the lookout for ‘too good to be true’ prices. 99% of the time, it’s a scam. Scammers tend to get away with these tricks in various ways. First, the items they are selling are too far away to be seen in person. If you aren’t allowed to see the item, it most likely doesn’t exist. Scammers can pull the photos from anywhere.

Then, to justify their “cheap” pricing, they prey on your emotions. Often times they say they are in the military and will be heading out on another tour, and they need to get rid of the item fast.

To make it even more difficult to spot a faker, they will direct you to a website that looks like a credible site. They’ll ask you to send your money to a third party delivery service. The site is covered with official logos, and reviews, so it can trick the buyer into sending money right to the scammers.

In order to protect yourself:

1. Do your research beforehand

2. Ask a family member or friend to help. A second pair of eyes can help spot something wrong

3. Don’t be pressured into making an immediate decision about your purchase

4. When using eBay, Facebook, or other reputable selling sites to make purchases, make sure you communicate and do the transactions through the site you found the item on. Scammers tend to want to take the communication to phone calls or personal texts. This makes you vulnerable, and not protected by the original site’s policies.

If you believe you have been a victim of this type of scam you should promptly report it to the IC3's website at The IC3's complaint database links complaints together to refer them to the appropriate law enforcement agency for case consideration.

Remember - always watch for scams!


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