Scammers are creating Web sites with the names of real auto
dealers and offering too-good-to-be-true deals on repossessed cars,
according to the Better Business Bureau. People across the country
already have lost thousands of dollars by buying nonexistent cars,
according to BBB.
For example, Memphis dealership America Auto Sales
(www.memphisautoworld.com) received more than 1,000 calls from car
shoppers who shopped on a phony site (www.americaautosales.com)
thinking it was Memphis dealership's site, according to BBB. Buyers
were told to wire a deposit to an individual -- rather than the
company -- and pay the balance when the car was delivered. The
phony site claimed that this payment method would help the company
avoid taxes legally. After paying, several victims called America
Auto Sales to arrange delivery of their cars -- and some even
showed up at the dealership.
The BBB says similar Web sites have posed as dealerships in
Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico and Texas. To
protect yourself when shopping online for cars, follow these
Be suspicious of ridiculously low offers.
Before buying a car, check
Kelley Blue Book
to find out what its market value is.
Verify that the vehicle exists.
Start by getting a phone number from the seller and calling him or
her (don't rely solely on e-mail communication). Ask the seller to
send you a copy of the vehicle registration and the VIN, which you
can use to get a vehicle history report from
Mind your money and personal information.
When paying, don't send a personal check or wire money (a request
to do so can be a scam). Do not give out your Social Security