BBB warns of online car buying scams
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Better Business Bureau is warning car buyers to be aware of foreign scammers heading online trying to sell you vehicles that don’t exist.
The agency released a study Thursday that found vehicle shipper and escrow scams are growing as more people buy cars and RVs online. Losses are expected to be $1.1 million from scams this year alone.
Scammers from other countries are using legitimate names of car dealerships and sometimes their photos to sell cars that don’t belong to them. The BBB says the biggest red flags should be if they offer to deliver the car if you pay through an escrow account or they ask you to buy gift cards to pay for the car.
Erika Carrillo, a legitimate car dealer from Nebraska, was contacted by two victims who each paid several thousand dollars to buy cars online that she never sold.
A woman from South Dakota saw a deal online that was too good to be true. The scammers wanted to sell a truck for $800 but wanted her to buy gift cards to pay for it. She didn’t fall for it.
“Sad to hear about those scams because they’re just affecting people.l they are affecting businesses, real businesses,” said Carrillo.
The BBB says you should look out for these tips to avoid being ripped off:
- If the price is lower than the marketplace value online
- If the ad or the correspondence has grammatical issues
- Examine online links online. There is no such thing as an eBay Escrow Fund.
- Don’t pay with reloadable cards or gift cards.
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