Car Buying Scams: How to Spot and Avoid Them

Car buying Scams

Buying a car comes in the list of most important purchases you can make as a consumer, second only to purchasing a home. Buying a used automobile is an excellent method to discover a vehicle that meets your requirements, lifestyle, and budget.

Before purchasing a used automobile, as with any significant purchase, you should conduct due diligence to ensure that the vehicle is right for you and to avoid any frauds or car buying scams. This approach needs extensive research, careful deliberation, and ample time to examine various models and retail outlets.

Be wary of adverts or sellers who appear to be too good to be true.

If you’re looking through online or print classifieds and a vehicle’s price appears to be excessively low in relation to what others are charging or what the normal worth of that make and model is, you should think about why.

This remains true throughout the shopping process as well: if the seller exclusively communicates via email, is overly aggressive, or does anything else that raises your suspicions, walk away from the transaction.

Keep an eye out for curbsiders (also called curbstoners and curbers)

An unregistered individual, dealer, or merchant who sells automobiles for profit is known as a curbsider. A curber will purchase vehicles and, rather than registering them under their own name, will resell them at a higher price.

The curber will pretend to be the former owner or say they’re selling the car for a family member or friend, frequently playing on the buyer’s emotions by narrating a sad story. A curber may misrepresent the car’s true condition, reset the odometer, or conceal severe flaws, and will usually persuade the new buyer to pay in cash to eliminate a paper trail.

In the end, the curber makes a profit on the vehicle while avoiding paying any taxes. They frequently have many automobiles for sale at the same time and ask that the potential buyer meet them in a public spot to avoid disclosing their own personal address and details.

Ghost brokers common for Fake insurance

Everyone wants a good price on vehicle insurance, but so-called ghost brokers target individuals with little financial resources, such as students and young drivers, with offers that are almost too good to be true.

Ghost brokers can falsify insurance paperwork, change facts on legitimate insurance policies, or even terminate a policy holder’s coverage without their knowledge and pocket the refund if they target their victims on social media.

Ghost brokers are difficult to discern, but if you’re a new or young driver, be wary of any insurance quote that appears too good to be true.

Trick using soiled oil

Anyone who has ever sold a used automobile knows how stressful it can be. It’s made even more difficult by the prospect of thieves using the “dirty oil” ruse to dupe sellers into believing the engine is broken.

This con involves two con artists showing up to look at a car for sale. During the test drive, one possible buyer will distract the owner by pouring oil into the coolant reservoir, causing smoke to stream out of the engine.

Due to the flaw, the purchasers will seek a reduction from the seller. Owners should be mindful of any suspicious behavior from potential buyers and confident in refusing the sale if they have any doubts.

Cloning of automobiles

Car cloning is a growing worry for many drivers. It occurs when criminals steal the identification of a lawfully registered vehicle and use it to conceal the identity of another stolen or fraudly picked up vehicle with a similar appearance.

The cloned vehicle is then either unlawfully sold or used to commit more crimes, ranging from minor traffic offenses like speeding to more serious crimes like ram-raids — all of which are wrongly attributed to the cloned car’s owner.

The fact that there is no one practical way to prevent your vehicle from being cloned is what makes this crime so terrifying. In many situations, the owner of the real vehicle only learns that it has been cloned after they receive a notice accusing them of committing a traffic violation on the other side of the nation!

The modern motorist’s nemesis is car cloning… Moreover, with substantial reductions in the number of police personnel over many years, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that those guilty for the crime will be apprehended and prosecuted.

You should always check a car’s history and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) against the records on the RAC’s Vehicle History Check, and notify the police if you suspect you’ve been cheated, to avoid buying a cloned vehicle.

While RAC Vehicle History Check will not tell you whether the vehicle is a clone outright, it will equip you with valuable information such as whether the vehicle has been scrapped or stolen, as well as relevant market valuations that may help you challenge any discrepancies in the story of a shady seller.


In conclusion, follow some of these tips to become an avid and smart buyer.

Beware of sellers or buyers that want to close a deal as soon as possible. Scammers want your money before you have a chance to think about it or have it examined by an expert.

Always connect over call. It’s probably a fraud if the buyer or seller seems to forget facts agreed to via e-mail or is unable to answer questions regarding their whereabouts or the location of the vehicle in question.

Always go with your gut instinct. If an offer appears to be “fishy” or “too good to be true,” it most often is. Every day, a large number of people utilize internet classified advertising to purchase and sell cars. The vast majority of these transactions are lawful and go off without a hitch. Losing out on a “wonderful” offer to work with someone you know could save you a lot of money and help you avoid a car buying scams.

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