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Old 08-18-2011, 05:29 PM   #1
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Default FBI Warns of Car Buying Scams

Even the savviest car enthusiast can be suckered into a scam, especially in the digital age where many people opt to purchase a vehicle online. The FBI has warned buyers to be careful of unscrupulous sellers who offer the promise of a secure online deal, one covered by the fraud protection rules of a well-known automotive site.

How this usually plays out is simple. A seller offers a vehicle for sale on a site like Craigslist, along with the guarantee the deal is covered by eBay’s Vehicle Protection Program. Once the money is sent via wire transfer, both the seller and non-existent vehicle (not to mention the cash) are long gone.

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) advises consumers to follow these tips when shopping online:

Research and inspect the car. Go beyond the information in the vehicle listing. Take advantage of vehicle history reports to be certain of mileage and vehicle condition. Review the title and hire an inspection service to look at the car prior to purchase.

Check the person’s background. Examine the seller’s feedback, ratings and comments. Communicate directly with the seller by phone or through secure channels like the My eBay Message Center to ensure correspondence is authentic.

Never send payments via wire services. Never use Western Union, MoneyGram or other wire services. If you plan to pay in cash, do so in person and obtain a receipt.

Consumer complaints increased 25 percent in 2010, costing auto shoppers roughly $1,000 every hour, according to IC3. Add it up, and that’s the equivalent of a $1.7 million Bugatti Veyron 16.4 going up in cyber-smoke every 71 days – or a Nissan Versa going bye-bye in little more than one working day. Scary stuff, especially since tracking down the online crooks can be next to impossible.

Consumers who suspect they’ve been swindled when auto shopping online are advised to file a complaint with the FBI’s IC3 at www.ic3.gov.
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:13 PM   #2
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Basic information is basic. Common sense, people!
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