Most of us have been scammed at some point in our lives. Whether it’s getting duped by a fake product or paying too much for something we could’ve gotten cheaper elsewhere, we’ve all been there.
But being scammed out of your hard-earned money is especially frustrating—and it can be even more so if it happens when you’re trying to buy or sell a car.
To help you out, we’ve put together a list of five of the most prevalent automotive scams around. Read on to learn what they are and how you can avoid them.
The Fake Car Warranty Scam
The fake car warranty scam is a common problem that many motorists face. The scam usually works like this: A person will receive a call from someone claiming to represent a car warranty company.
So how can you know which car warranty companies are legit and which ones are scams? You should do your research, look up, “is CarShield legit?” and see what reviews say, look at the BBB and the website of each car warranty company that you’re looking into. Usually, if someone contacts you about a warranty that’s a scam, this is how it will go:
The caller will say that the person’s car warranty is about to expire and offer to sell them a new one. Often, the caller will claim that the person can get a discount if they purchase the warranty right away. If the person agrees to purchase the warranty, they will be asked for their credit card number and other personal information.
This information will then be used to make unauthorized charges on the person’s account. In some cases, the caller may also try to sell other products, such as extended service contracts or auto insurance.
Ultimately, the goal of the scam is to get as much money from the victim as possible. Anyone who receives one of these calls should just hang up and report it to the authorities. By being aware of this scam, you can help protect yourself and others from becoming victims.
The “Yo Yo” Finance Scam
The “yo yo” finance scam is a type of fraud that preys on unsuspecting car buyers. Here’s how it works: a buyer agrees to finance a car through the dealership. The dealer then delivers the car to the buyer and asks for a down payment.
Once the down payment is made, the dealer disappears with the car and the buyer is left with no way to get their money back. This type of scam is most common in areas where there are a lot of used car dealerships.
If you’re thinking about financing a car, be sure to do your research and only work with reputable dealerships.
The “Lemon” Car Scam
Car buyers beware: the “lemon” car scam is out there, and it could cost you big time. The scam works like this: a crook buys a used car that has been in an accident or otherwise damaged, then cleans it up and sells it to an unsuspecting customer for a high price.
The car may look fine on the outside, but once you start driving it, the problems become apparent. By the time you realize you’ve been scammed, the crook is long gone and there’s no way to get your money back.
If you’re in the market for a used car, there are a few things you can do to avoid becoming a victim of this scam.
- First, get the car inspected by a qualified mechanic before you buy it. This will help to uncover any hidden damage that the crook may have tried to cover up.
- Second, pull a vehicle history report on the car to see if it has been in any accidents or had any other major problems.
- Finally, be wary of any deals that seem too good to be true; if a car is priced far below its market value, there’s probably a reason why.
By following these simple tips, you can protect yourself from becoming the next victim of the lemon car scam.
The Odometer Tampering Scam
Odometer tampering is a serious problem that can cost car buyers thousands of dollars. The practice involves resetting the odometer to show a lower mileage, making the car appear to be in better condition than it actually is.
Unfortunately, odometer tampering is relatively easy to do, and it can be difficult to detect if you don’t know what to look for. Here are a few tips to help you avoid this scam:
- Only buy from reputable dealerships or private sellers.
- Check the vehicle’s history report for any discrepancies.
- Inspect the odometer itself for any signs of tampering (e.g., loose screws, missing letters/numbers).
If you suspect that an odometer has been tampered with, you should walk away from the deal and report the seller to the authorities. Don’t let yourself be scammed out of your hard-earned money – be diligent and stay informed.
The Flood-Damaged Car Scam
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of flood-damaged cars being sold to unsuspecting buyers. These cars may have sustained significant damage during a floods, and as a result, may be unsafe and unreliable.
What’s more, repairing a flood-damaged car can be extremely expensive. For these reasons, it is important to be aware of the flood-damaged car scam. If you’re considering buying a used car, be sure to have it inspected by a qualified mechanic. They will be able to identify any signs that the car has been damaged by floodwaters.
In addition, avoid any deals that seem too good to be true. Unfortunately, with flood-damaged cars, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
By taking these precautions, you can help to protect yourself from becoming the victim of this increasingly common scam.
Scams are unfortunately becoming more and more common in the automotive industry. But if you’re armed with the right knowledge, you can avoid them. Keep an eye out for these five scams the next time you’re in the market for a car, and you’ll be able to steer clear of them with ease.