Auto Scams

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Auto scams, there must be a new one turning up to trick the unwary consumer out of his money every minute of every day.  The most common auto scam traps for consumers involve:

  • Used Car Scams - There are a million “used car” scams. One is where a dealer takes a car that was returned for some reason and relisting it as a “new” car.  Another involves a trade-in vehicle where more is owed on the trade-in than it is actually worth.  The dealer promises to take the trade-in for the amount owed on it.  The dealer then adds the difference to the price of the new vehicle or capitalization of the leased vehicle, by improperly inflating the price of the new vehicle which then results in an improperly elevated sales tax bill on registration of the new car.
  • Internet Auto Scams - There are a huge number of scams connected with the sales and purchase of cars using the internet.  One such scam involves a legitimate buyer, bids on a vehicle on line, does not win the car, but is told by a scammer that he was the highest bidder.  The buyer is then told to send the money to an escrow site that will hold the money while vehicle is shipped to the new owner.  The car is never shipped and the escrow account is controlled by criminals who withdraw the money, close the account and disappear.
  • Auto Repair Scams - Repair shops will sometime preventative maintenance service to hook customers from a simple oil change into unneeded repairs.  Some mechanics will even cause damage during an inspection in order to “discover” additional repairs to be made.
  • Auto Warranty Scams - Auto warranty scams often arise when a consumer is contacted by mail or phone call warning the consumer that his car warranty is about to expire.  The caller gives the impression that he represents the car manufacturer or dealer but is in truth an unrelated business trying to sell extended warranty service contracts often costing thousands of dollars and in the end those companies typically never fulfill the promised service commitments.

Can an Attorney Help?

Smart consumers who believe that they have been scammed in connection with an automobile will seek out the assistance of an attorney to protect their rights and interests.  An attorney can actively investigate the scam and the scammer and defend the consumer against the results of his deceptions.