LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — With used cars in high demand, experts are warning consumers to look out for too-good-to-be-true prices.
Used cars are in high demand, and scammers know it. Con artists are taking advantage of shoppers who turn to online platforms in search of a reasonably priced used vehicle. Be wary of this latest twist and too-good-to-be-true prices.
Chris Babin of the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana tells viewers how the scam came about.
“What we’re seeing now is high ticketed items like used vehicles when the demand was a little short for vehicles and then interest rates are different and some people are not in the market for a new vehicle, they’re looking for something used and they’re coming across prices that are too good to be true,” Babin explains
You come across a used car for sale online either on Craigslist, Facebook marketplace or another online platform. When you contact the seller, you find out the vehicle is in another city.
“The post itself is a scam. Of course, it’s probably pictures of a real vehicle that they’re listing way cheaper than it would actually sell for and of course, their goal is to try to get a deposit or money or some type of transport cost from you before you ever see the vehicle and then in the end, the vehicle is not real. It’s not actually for sale and the person you’re dealing with is a scammer,” said Babin.
Many scammers will add a sad story. For example, they may claim the car belonged to a relative who passed away.
“In some instances, they’ll claim that they’re working with a third-party company to help transfer the title and handle the sale itself, but you do have to check into that company itself because some of those end up just being made up again to seem legitimate but it’s just a scammer taking advantage of you,” said Babin.
Here are some tips on how to avoid car sales scams:
- Watch out for prices that are too good to be true. Scammers know that used cars are in high demand, and they will tempt shoppers with great deals.
- Contact the seller by phone. As early as possible, speak to the seller on the phone and ask plenty of questions. If the seller can’t confirm their location or the location of the vehicle, you’re probably dealing with a scammer.
- See the car before you buy it. Always make an in-person inspection and take a test drive before you purchase a vehicle.
- Don’t give in to threats or pressure. Resist the urge to act immediately.
- Don’t wire funds for a car. Scammers often ask for wired funds because they are hard to track, and there’s no way to get your money back. It’s best to make large purchases by check or credit card.
If you have a scam you’d like me to investigate, feel free to send me an email at email@example.com.
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