3 Most Common Dealer Fraud Practices in Los Angeles

There are over 3 common dealer fraud practices in Los Angeles. But this time, we are going to discuss 3 specific cases. Each of them is unpleasant and dangerous in its own way but one thing is common in three of them; dealerships might use these practices to rip-off unsuspecting car buyers. 

Title Washing as one of the common dealer fraud practices

Title washing is the act of obscuring a vehicle’s history and hiding its title. You might wonder what a vehicle title is. Well, when a vehicle is wrecked, somehow majorly damaged, or flooded, it gets the so-called “Salvage” title. Vehicles with such a title usually got serious safety issues even after being repaired. Note that such vehicles might look quite new and undamaged. However, the reality is that driving a salvage vehicle might be rather risky since it may cause troubles right on the road.

Title washing is one of the most common car dealer fraud practices in Los Angeles. It involves advertising and selling a vehicle without disclosing the fact that it has got a “Salvage” title. To avoid becoming a victim of Title washing, you should make sure you do not buy “as is” i.e. without any warranty. Instead, make the dealership responsible for what they are selling and ask for a warranty when buying a car either new or used. Also, it is always a good idea to get a VIN check before you buy a car. This will help you see what major problems the vehicle went through in the past.

The Payment Trick

Do you know the difference between the terms “price” and “payment”? While this question might seem odd to you, many car buyers cannot see the difference between these two things. Your monthly payment is as important for your budget as the car price. These two amounts are interconnected and cannot be viewed separately: otherwise, you might become vulnerable to car dealer fraud.

Remember, that the dealer will try to fix your attention not on the car price but on the monthly payments, you are going to pay for the car. They will try to convince you that paying low monthly payments for a longer period of time is the right thing for you. But, of course, it’s not since the vehicle loses a considerable amount of its price right after being taken from the dealer’s lot. By agreeing to pay less for a longer period of time, you eventually end up paying the same high price for the vehicle plus you get an old car that will be rather hard to resell later on.

The only way to avoid this scam is to refuse to pay less monthly payments for longer periods. Instead, ask the car price first and then try to distribute your budget according to the car price.

The Escrow Account Scam

Buying consumer goods online has become quite trendy these days. However, buying a car online might involve several fraud risks. The reason is that many fraudsters:

  • Create fake websites to advertise cheap vehicles
  • Create fake escrow accounts to rip-off unsuspecting buyers

The most common way to cheat people is to advertise a surprisingly low price for the vehicle. Hence, if you think that the car price is too low, then there might be something wrong with it. In any case, when you buy online, contact the dealer and ask to visit their Los Angeles-based dealership for a test drive.

If you have purchased a vehicle in Los Angeles, tell us about your experiences. What did you do to avoid becoming a victim of similar car dealer fraud practices that are so common in Los Angeles? Feel free to comment below.