How To Avoid Common Used Car Scams Online?

Along with the increasing trend in online shopping, internet fraud has also been on a high during the past couple of years, where the usual target are the people who get into high amount transactions. But this shouldn’t discourage you from buying a used car online. Instead staying cautious and avoid getting into the traps of these fraudulent individuals can make your life a lot easier in the very first place.

Unscrupulous sellers try to sell their poor quality vehicles with every trick under their sleeves. Giving customers a total loss, considering the amount of money they have paid, and getting themselves a wretched vehicle. Recent estimates say that every day there are hundreds of car customers out there who get themselves ripped off through these scammers, who are always seeking an opportunity to make a quick buck.

Therefore be on the lookout and do the following homework in order to avoid getting yourself hit by a scam:

Go Through the Vehicle History Report

You might not know but there are many dealers online which often does “Title Washing”. This practice is referred to as permanently replacing a branded title of a vehicle with a ‘clean Title’ and later selling to an unsuspecting customer who has no idea that a certain vehicle has been in a major accident or flood.

A vehicle history often helps customers to identify these sort of scams. But it highly depends on the authenticity of these reports which could tell you whether the title of the vehicle has been washed or not.

Investigate With Who You Are Dealing With

Knowing a dealer’s background is equally important as knowing the history of the vehicle. It’s pretty crucial to have a background check of the car dealer through which you are planning to buy your vehicle from.

Make sure you buy a used vehicle from reputable used car dealerships that are well-established and have good overall reviews. In order to check whether they are genuinely operating in the market or do they have a bad reputation. Simply connect with their previous customers and find out their experience buying vehicles from them. If their response is generally positive, you can go ahead with the particular car dealer. And in case the overall pattern is a negative one, so it’s better to keep away from them to avoid getting into any sort of scams. Connecting with a reputable online dealership will never make you worry about these things.

Third-Party Transactions

With so many people ready to buy vehicles online, a few so-called dealers try to rip-off customers from their hard earned money. Once common scenario for fraudulent sellers is to request customers paying at a personal account or other than in the name of the business they are operating with. Moreover, these fraudulent sellers lean customers into a scam by telling them that a particular third-party payment service is the most secure way to conduct an online transaction. Thus, making them pay through an official means of payment and making it impossible to track their payment, later get disconnected from them after stealing their money online.

Therefore, make sure you make payment in an official account; pay only at recognized methods of payment in order to keep yourself away from an online theft.

Only Accept an Authentic Vehicle Inspection Report

Any time you’re buying a used vehicle, it’s always recommended to ask for their inspection report. Being a potential owner of a particular vehicle you have the right to request its inspection report from your online car dealer. But make sure it is from an authentic source.

The inspection report will give you an idea whether you are actually getting what your car dealer is promising you, or whether things are a bit shady. You especially need to have a look into the engine, interior, and the documentation inspection points.


Online scams are pretty common these days, but staying cautious and working on the aforementioned points before buying a used car can definitely lead towards a safer deal. Either you have any concerns or you sense that a particular deal seems to be dodgy. It’s wise to immediately hold your online purchase and investigate, and go ahead only if you are overall satisfied, or else, simply drop the deal.

Author Bio:

Bret Jones actively invest in buying vehicles through Japanese used car auctions and later sells them to local customers. He also writes and advises his online readers how they can get the best value for money buying vehicles online.

About The Author


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