Car Scams Going Digital

scam_email_alertCar sale scams are pretty common when you buy from other people directly who are not professional dealers, but these scams are easy to catch when you are there in person, checking the car out. However, nowadays with online shopping, buying a car online from someone that lives far away can make it very easy to get ripped off.

This is exactly what happened to Chris from Iowa. He bought a 2003 Ford Mustang Cobra through eBay Motors, got it delivered to him, and at first he believed that he had gotten the deal of a lifetime on his dream car.

“I mean it was a good price, but it was one of those ones where you go, is this too good to be true.  And you know I think back and yes it was it was too good to be true” said Chris.

A few month later, Chris got a call from an investigator whom wanted to take a look at the car. After taking a portion of the car apart, he was sure that it was the same car that had been reported stolen in New York State. Its vehicle identification numbers, or VIN, were actually glued on from another wrecked mustang, which is what investigators call a “salvage switch”. The worst news for Chris was that aside from spending around $20,000 on the car, lawyer, and delivery fees, his car would get taken away in the end, and his money lost

Chris’s case is believed to be one of 150 more related to two brothers named Darius and and Krzysztof Grabowski of Pennsylvania who plead guilty to a $3 million dollar auto theft scheme in the New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania area. The brothers could serve 15 to 20 years in prison for their scam.

However, Chris’s unfortunate experience should be a lesson for anyone interested in doing shopping online for high ticket items such as cars. If a deal seems way to good to be true, such as getting a $15,000 car for $3,000, then it most likely is a scam that might ultimately leave you down and out. You should also always inspect the car yourself first before purchasing it, or get someone you can trust to do it for you. The very last thing you want is to spend money on a car, and then get it taken away from you without getting a penny back. This story also speaks to car owners, as it serves as a reminder that although car thefts have been reportedly down to record lows, thefts are still happening. The best thing you can do to secure your car is to install a GPS tracking device, such as the LiveWire Car GPS Tracker, so that if your vehicle ever does get stolen, it will be easily tracked down by yourself and the police.

(Via kimt)

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