Avoid fraud when buying a used car
(NC)—As with any major purchase, you need to do your due diligence when buying a used car. Here are eight important tips to avoid scams and to make sure the vehicle is right for you:
1. Always question a deal that seems too good to be true.
2. Be wary of dealing with a private seller who has numerous cars listed at the same time. They could be a curbsider – an unlicensed individual, dealer or retailer who buys up vehicles and instead of registering them under their own name, posts the same vehicles for sale with a mark-up. The curbsider might hide major issues or turn back the odometer in order to make a quick, profitable sale.
3. Don't do business with a seller who won't meet face-to-face. Be on your guard if they'll only talk with you by phone or email.
4. Purchase a CarProof vehicle history report for a detailed Canadian and U.S. history of the vehicle along with registration details and lien information. The CarProof report will also contain branding and odometer details and tell you if the vehicle is actively reported as stolen.
5. Ask the seller for proof of identity and check that the seller's name and address matches up with the information on the actual vehicle registration form. Verify the vehicle identification number (VIN), the car's details and the colour of the car with the registration form, insurance slips and with the CarProof report. One way curbsiders commit used vehicle fraud is by falsifying these details.
6. Take the vehicle for a pre-purchase inspection to a place of your choosing. If the seller insists on using one specific facility, this could be a red flag. Many curbsiders team up with someone who will look the other way when doing inspections or misrepresent the vehicle's current condition.
7. Don't pay before you get the vehicle and be wary if the seller demands cash only. If the seller requests a third-party escrow service, investigate the service to make sure it's legitimate and secure, as many online escrow sites are fraudulent.
8. Don't let yourself be rushed into a decision to buy the vehicle. Take your time to ask questions and make an informed decision.
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