Everything You Should Know about Bait and Switch

Have you made up your mind to purchase a car?  It goes without saying that buying a car is an experience full of excitement and joy. So, every car shopper expects a fair treatment from car dealerships. But the reality is different because not all the dealers are honest. You should be aware that there are a lot of fraudulent dealerships that can prepare ‘’perfect’’ traps for car buyers. Bait and switch is one of the widespread tactics used by car scammers.  To protect you from dishonest dealers, you should be a well-informed car shopper. As a matter of fact, there are both federal and state laws in the USA that attempt to protect car shoppers. The FTC or Federal Trade Commission aims to prevent such deceitful practices. In this article, you will find out everything you should know about bait and switch.

What are the typical scenarios of bait and switch?

Actually, bait and switch is on the list of scammers’ ‘’favorite traps’’.  Unfortunately, car shoppers can come across this type of auto fraud at any stage of car purchasing process.  Bait and switch, which is  ‘’a very profitable tool’’ for car dealers may occur during advertising, as well as negotiations related to financial issues. Here are typical scenarios of bait and switch car scam:

  • You wanted to buy a vehicle for a long period of time. However, you didn’t have enough financial means to obtain your preferred model. Unexpectedly, you come across a very enticing advertisement. The deal is simply irresistible, as the price of the automobile is extremely low. Be very attentive. Most probably, you are dealing with a switch and bait scam.
  • This is another common situation typical of switch and bait. Pay attention to the fine prints of the ads. Sometimes, car shoppers fail to notice certain details regarding the ‘’ideal’’ deal, usually mentioned at the bottom of the ad. Among these details is the limited number of cars, which are available at the advertised price.
  • One of the characterizing features of this auto fraud is confusing payment terms. For example, in the advertisement, deceitful dealers usually refer to payments issues per month.
  • After looking through the enchanting advertisement, you hurry up to the car dealership. You are anxious to own your dream car at the most affordable price.  But “a very pleasant surprise” is waiting for you at the dealership.  The car dealer will let you know that the advertised car is no longer available. Thus, the dealer will offer you another cool car with the higher price and convince you to buy it. In this case, the wisest decision is simply refusing the offer.

How to avoid bait and switch?

Do you want to avoid becoming a victim of this auto fraud? You should be aware of the steps that you need to take to identify scammers that use this tactic. To achieve this goal, take a look at a few useful tips.

Exploring terms and conditions of the deal in detail

Do not forget to read the terms and conditions of the advertised deal thoroughly before buying the car. Very frequently, scammers conceal vital details about the terms of the advertised vehicle. In this way, they succeed in cheating consumers and making large profits.  Have you found out a new piece of information that was hidden in the advertisement?  This means that you are about to get into a scammer’s trap.

Finding information about the dealer beforehand 

It is a wise decision to do a research and collect information about the dealer who offers an alluring deal. You can explore different reviews and take into account other car shoppers’ opinions about the dealership in question. It is dangerous to trust a seller that has a bad reputation. Always look for a reliable dealer that has earned a good reputation among consumers.

Clarifying the pricing terms before purchasing the vehicle

Some consumers are so enchanted by the attractive offer that they don’t pay attention to pricing terms of the deal.  Actually, this is a serious mistake, as dealers can use this to cheat you. In order to close the sale quickly, they may provide vague information about payment issues. In some cases, you may end up paying a larger sum of money than you have planned.

Do not buy the car, if you have doubts

Dealers using bait and switch tactic do their best to persuade buyers that missing this deal is a great loss. That’s why a scammer will try to have an emotional pressure on you and make you finalize the sale quickly. In this case, you won’t have enough time to think about everything thoroughly and discover ‘’dark’’ sides of seemingly ideal deal.  Don’t fall for this strategy and don’t purchase the vehicle if you still have doubts. In this case, you should simply leave the scammer’s nest.

If you suspect that you have become the victim of the bait and switch fraud, find a trustworthy lawyer.  Experienced attorneys at the Margarian Law Firm handle auto fraud cases successfully and will help you find the best solution.