Avoid Internet Car Sales Scams
Almost 1,000 people lately lost up to $5,000 each in an Internet car scam.
1. Talk with Different People
The easiest way to protect yourself from scams is to have a live contact with the dealer. It’s an automatic red light in case your only contact with a dealership is through instant message or e-mail. Always ask for phone conversation. If they refuse, don’t buy from them.
2. Remember “Too-Good-to-Be-True” Deals
It is tough to pass up an incredible deal. After all, it’s what you were looking for in the first place, right? But if something seems a little too good, it most likely is. Be wary of anything with no comparison.
3. Check Car Type and Dealership
Nearly all car scammers demand to deal in repossessed and used cars, making extreme discounts seem more plausible. They also hit the mark on the dealerships that is owned locally and are easy to imitate in turn, hard for you to verify.
Try and buy in-state from a lot you can visit personally.
4. Avoid Wire Transfers
Do not wire money directly in a single person’s name. Everywhere it is just the same – whether you’re purchasing a car or “helping” somebody.
Money Gram, a favorite of scammers, is legal and safe when making payments to a certified business. Several victims take wire services as not liable for stolen money and there is little chance of tracking it down.
5. Haste Makes Waste
The trick is old, but enticing nonetheless. Usually scammers assure you their deal will last a very limited time, rushing you into a purchase with little chance for research.
Several false auto sites are active for several days before they disappear, only to reappear with a different URL. Wait at least a week or two before committing to a sale. Scam or not, a car should always be taken as an investment.