Buying a new or a used car can sometimes be extremely unpleasant and troublesome. In the auto dealer marketplace, it is hard to avoid shrewd car scammers who master a number of cunning tactics to deceive you and increase their bottom line. In 2012, more than 22.000 people were scammed by shrew car dealers in the US. Being aware and well-informed of common scams practiced by car dealers can help you avoid lots of problems, as well as save your money and nerves. Here are 5 common car selling scams you should be aware of if you intend to buy a car:
Title washing car scam
Title washing is a car selling scam, intended to hide a vehicle’s history of being salvaged. A salvage title assumes that the car has been damaged and/or deemed a total loss by an insurance company. When a vehicle is wrecked and repaired or damaged by a natural disaster, or when a vehicle is stolen and recovered, it is to be referred to as a salvaged car. Salvaged vehicles often suffer significant problems after being repaired, even though they may look new.
Title washing is also known as “branding” a vehicle. It does not mean that vehicles branded with salvage titles cannot be driven out, but their market value should be lower. Every state has its own restrictions and regulations to restrict the ability to wash a title.
Bait and switch car scam
Bait and switch scam is one of many vehicle scams that car dealers use to dupe unaware consumers into buying vehicles for the highest price. This scam occurs when a car dealer advertises a vehicle at a low and profitable price and when the consumer gets in touch with him/her, the dealer does not have the car and offers another car which is much more expensive. This is an illegal practice and suggests a number of remedies, such as rescission of contract and recovery of monetary damages, as well as payment of your attorney’s fees and costs.
Odometer rollback car scam
It is a well-known fact that a vehicle’s mileage affects its cost. The higher the mileage, the less the vehicle is worth. Some car dealers find tampering a vehicle’s odometer records a profitable way of putting extra money in their pockets. State and federal laws forbid odometer rollback. Car dealers are imposed by law to provide car buyers with accurate odometer information. There is a number of ways to disclose odometer rollback scams. If you are buying a used car, you should consider requesting a vehicle history report to avoid getting burned. An experienced and knowledgeable dealer fraud attorney can help you uncover odometer rollback scams and gain remedies if you are a victim of a fraudulent odometer rollback. Remedies for odometer rollback scam include litigation under the federal Motor Vehicle Information Cost Savings Act or in your local state court.
Car warranty scams
Warranties are insurances against future high-cost repairs. An expanded vehicle warranty extends the terms of the original warranty and is to be provided by the car’s manufacturer solemnly. However, many car dealers sell cars with extended warranties that offer the same type of coverage at a much lower price. Do not agree to an extended warranty without seeing the paperwork. If the dealership is operating legally, it will have no problem sending you the contract to review. If the company says it never sends contracts until the customer has paid, it is an obvious sign of car dealer scam.
When a car dealer suggests you an escrow scam, he/she will probably direct you to deposit money into a fake “escrow account.” As soon as the money is on the account, the seller and the vehicle disappear. The best way to avoid an escrow scam is doing face to face negotiations, including the exchange of money.
If you feel you have been a victim of any of the car dealer scam practices mentioned above, the experienced and skillful attorneys at the Margarian Law firm are there to help you get out of the situation successfully. The knowledgeable dealer fraud attorneys at the Margarian Law firm are ready to aggressively pursue the outcome that you deserve and restore your rights.