Saturday, May 16, 2009

Used car buyers: Beware of scams

Buying a used car is still the most economical way to get some new (to you) transportation. But as with anything involving money, there are some pitfalls you must watch out for. Check out these tips from the Fraud Abatement through Industry Response group:

--Overseas Confidence Scams: Originating in Eastern Europe, Russia and Africa, these often involve ‘phantom vehicles’ that do not exist or cars that are offered for sale elsewhere on the Internet by legitimate sellers.

--F.A.I.R. Recommendation: and recommended that prospective buyers insist on establishing voice contact with the seller. Perpetrators of this type of fraud often avoid direct contact and will abandon the transaction when pressed for a direct local phone number.

--WMDs (Wrong & Misleading Descriptions): The traditional online used car market has sometimes been affected by sellers providing inaccurate descriptions used to intentionally mislead buyers.
--F.A.I.R. Recommendation: As a best practice, buyers should have a vehicle’s condition validated by an independent third-party professional, which can potentially save money on unforeseen repairs. Next month, PepBoys will announce a new web-based inspection request and viewing system to assist used car buyers through technology provided by Mota Motors.

--Odometer Rollbacks: CARFAX reported a 57 percent increase in this type of fraud over the last two years attributed directly to the popularity of vehicle leasing and the associated mileage penalties in returning a vehicle. Not only does this type of deception affect the value of the vehicle, but it places future owners at physical risk due to neglected scheduled service and maintenance.
--F.A.I.R. Recommendation: By obtaining a vehicle history report, consumers are able to see the accumulation of mileage over time and quickly determine if there are any potential anomalies.

--VIN Cloning: Essentially identity theft for vehicles, this ruse involves replacing the vehicle identification number (VIN) on a stolen vehicle with a VIN copied from a similar vehicle located elsewhere.
--F.A.I.R. Recommendation: Prospective buyers are encouraged to obtain a vehicle history report which will often show the same VIN number registered in different jurisdictions at the same time.

--Black Market Airbag Fraud: This emerging scam involves removing expensive airbags in modern vehicles and replacing them with faulty ones, or even omitting the airbags entirely. This is potentially the most dangerous risk to consumers as the Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) indicates in a recent study that up to 40 percent of automotive fatalities are the result of a faulty airbag.
--F.A.I.R. Recommendation: When buying a used car, consumers should obtain a professional independent inspection which can confirm the airbags are installed and in good-working order.

1 comment:

Used Nissan said...

A good salesperson will attempt to be your friend. It is an effective selling technique. This is a business deal, with you paying a lot of money for a purchase. Courtesy, firmness, and awareness of the target car's real value should be your concerns.