Dealer Fraud: Profiting from Rebates

Dealer Fraud: Profiting from Rebates

To avoid becoming a dealer fraud victim and a dealer fraud attorney’s potential client read our blog and watch for these car dealer tricks.

Profiting from Rebates

Rebates attract a lot of customers, but the discounts can hide several types of car dealer fraud that are employed to suck a few bucks from a buyer. First, don’t let a salesman tell you that you are getting a good deal because of a rebate; rebates come from the manufacturer and usually apply regardless of the price you negotiate with the individual dealer. Negotiate as if there are no rebates.

Second, make sure that the rebates are deducted from the purchase price. If you allow the dealer to mail you a check after the sale, you end up paying taxes and interest on the rebate. And never let an incentive like a low APR or a rebate rush you into a purchase you aren’t ready to make. If there’s an incentive on a vehicle today, odds are there will be incentives on it again. Salesmen will often tell you that you have to buy a certain trim, engine, or option package in order to qualify for the incentives. This is not always true.


While it’s a good idea to bring a friend or family member shopping with you—someone else to watch the deal, question the terms — this opens additional avenues for nefarious dealers to use the buyer’s impressions against them. When the salesman leaves the buyers alone, people drop their guard and feel comfortable discussing the aspects of the deal they wouldn’t mention in front of the salesman. With just a couple slight pokes at their phones, salespeople can leave the intercom open with the sales manager’s office, where they will go not to seek approval on your terms, but to eavesdrop on your conversation, harvesting information to use against the customer. There are even stories of salespeople hiding tiny monitors in their offices. So when the salesman leaves to talk to the sales manager, it’s your turn to leave and get a cup of coffee.