Protect Yourself from Salvage Title Fraud
One is more likely to fall a victim of salvage title fraud when buying a used vehicle. You will discover a salvage title car very quickly after the purchase. It is a real tragedy for the buyer as it is almost impossible to resell a salvage title car. Other consequences may be even more harmful, as these cars usually have serious defects affecting the safety of the passengers.
Thus, you can see that salvage title fraud is one of the biggest problems in the car buying sphere. But by searching for right information, you will be able to protect yourself from tricky car deals.
You should first of all know what a salvage title is.
A vehicle is considered to be with a salvage title if it is extensively damaged (70% – 90% of its retail value). This damage can be a reason of a flood, fire or an accident.
Usually, a salvage title car is sold in an auction (some people buy such cars, as they need the car parts). Other buyers are vehicle rebuilders who fix the car so that it can meet safety laws and then resell the vehicle with a full disclosure of its once being a wrecked car. In this case, people buy such vehicles knowingly and they do this because previously wrecked cars are quite cheap. However, there are some rebuilders/dealers who don’t disclose facts connected with the car and unfortunately, many car buyers become victims of salvage title fraud.
Here are some useful tips helping you protect yourself from salvage title fraud:
- The first tip you should follow before buying a car (especially a used one) is to have it inspected by a mechanic. You can do that by yourself either. A careful eye can spot various signs hinting that the car has been rebuilt. These are signs like water damage, frame damage, paint overspray etc.
- Water damage is very easy to spot and you should concentrate on this more carefully. If the car is water damaged then there may be water stains in the doorjambs, engine compartment, and trunk. Electrical connections may be rusty and their color may be green. Be attentive to look under the seats and carpets to see whether there is mud or not. Check the oil and transmission fluid to see whether their color is milky. If it is, then this is a sign of water being mixed with it.
- Odometer rollback is a type of fraud that usually accompanies salvage title fraud. You should be careful to check whether the odometer has been tampered or not. It may have been removed. If the line of numbers on the odometer is uneven, then it has been rolled back to conceal its actual mileage.
- In order to avoid buying a wrecked vehicle, you can use the VIN of the car to check its history in the CarFax for example. Also, be attentive as some dealers or rebuilders perform title washing i.e. they take the car out of one state and register it in another one. In such circumstances a car’s title is not mentioned in the new vehicle history report, and it becomes easier for dishonest people to practice salvage title fraud.
You may be scared to buy a used car after reading about so many scams unscrupulous people practice. But remember, that our lawyers are always ready to protect your rights including such dreadful cases like salvage title fraud.