Common Used Cars Scam That You Should Be Aware Of

Common Used Cars Scam That You Should Be Aware Of

Cars are one of the largest investments that people make and make up a substantial part of their budget. Scammers take advantage of this fact by selling cars under false pretenses to get rid of them quickly.
There are various different types of commonly used cars scam that can pop up with anyone. It is important for buyers to be aware of these scams so they do not fall victim to them

The I’m Selling My Brothers Car Scam

Many scammers will purchase a car with the intention of selling it shortly after they have gotten their hands on it. For example, someone who is moving overseas may decide to sell their car before they leave.
In these cases, if the buyer is suspicious, they should enquire as to where the original owner is. If it turns out that there is no original owner and this was a made-up friend or relative of the scammer’s, proceed with extreme caution because there may be a used car scam going on.

The I’m Dying Of Cancer Scam

This car selling tactic has been used for decades by scammers across the globe.
In this scenario, a person will put their beloved vehicle up for sale claiming that they have only just found out that they have an incurable form of cancer. And cannot possibly enjoy life knowing that their car will sit in storage for months whilst they languish away from society.

Most people who hear this story will be sympathetic. Also eager to purchase the car. To make matters worse, scammers will even go as far as to claim that they are not wanting to take any money for it because they just want someone else to benefit from it after they’re gone.
Of course, if you choose to buy this car, there is no guarantee of any insurance payout or anything similar. So, if you decide that you want to contribute towards the “cause” then try doing it through a trustworthy third party. Don’t ever go directly with the scammer themselves.

The I’m Being Deployed And Do Not Have Time Scam

This scam is very similar to the previous two scams. It also requires quite a bit of research on your behalf. If you want to avoid falling victim to it.
With this particular scam, someone will put their car up for sale. They will claim that they are being deployed in the military, and they do not have time to drive this car.
Oftentimes, there is no deployment at all and these scammers take advantage of people’s sympathy by selling them cars under false pretenses. They know that most people who hear this story will be sympathetic, and eager to purchase the vehicle below market price.

The “I’m Moving But Not To Where” Scam

This is a very common used cars scam that you will find across North America, and it goes as follows.
Someone will place an ad online to sell their vehicle for what seems like a fair market price. However, if you enquire as to where they are moving to, they will refuse to disclose this information.
In some cases, these scammers may even attempt to trick you by claiming that they have been evicted from their current home, without warning and thus do not have time, or resources available to move everything themselves. If you encounter this type of used car scam be sure to avoid it at all costs.

The I’m Selling This Car In Myself Scam

In this scenario, the scammer will try to sell you a vehicle for an incredibly low price. But will refuse to enquire about anything beyond the terms of the sale.
For example, they may be too afraid to enquire as to whether or not you’re going to do a background check. Because then it would reveal that they are not actually the legal owner of the car. While in most cases these used car scams can easily be avoided by simply asking who owns the car. If there happens to be a good reason for them wanting someone else involved in their transaction. Then that is something that they should disclose to you before any deal goes through.

The I’ve Got An Unreliable Car Seller Scam

This particular scam requires a bit more work on behalf of the initial buyer In order for it to be executed successfully. But in some cases, it can still take place with relative ease. The way this scam works is by someone convincing you to purchase their car despite its state of disrepair.
Once this individual has agreed upon a price. They will hand over their vehicle’s ownership documents and allow you to drive away with it. Only for them to come back later claiming that the sale never actually happened because they are not aware of the actual condition of the vehicle.
In some cases, this might be a legitimately used car scam. And therefore you should do your due diligence on the seller before proceeding with anything further.
Other times, it’s simply a case of someone trying to get out of having to pay for an expensive new transmission.

The “I’m Not Beeping You Scam”

This is one of the most commonly used car scams. This one doesn’t rely on internet strangers, being trusting or sympathetic towards one another. In this scenario, someone will post a picture online of their vehicle along with its asking price.
Then they leave it at that because they know that most sellers do not picture their own vehicles. Therefore, they won’t be able to tell whether, or not the car in question is theirs.
This is because many buyers will simply purchase a vehicle based on its description and condition. Rather than inspecting it first hand. It makes this one of the best-used cars scams to use if you want something quick, easy, and bad for everyone involved.

The I Need To Go But This Mystery Man’s Car Scam

In this scammer’s typical used cars scam, someone will place an ad online selling their car. But then claim that they need to leave town right away due to some sort of job-related issue.
When buyers enquire about the car, they will provide them with the name and number of an individual who needs to go in their place if they are interested in purchasing it. It sounds like a decent enough deal.
Except that when you meet this mystery man for the first time. He’ll begin asking all sorts of questions about your personal life before ultimately ‘forgetting’ his identification at home, and never coming back.

The I Really Need To Sell This Scam

In some cases, the person selling their vehicle might actually be looking for someone specific to sell it to. Because there is no other way around it.
For example, their family member or friend has gotten into legal trouble. If they don’t get enough money from the sale of their car, things could get worse for them overall.
Of course, these used car scams are a little harder to spot because the seller is telling the truth.
If you choose to proceed with a purchase in this sort of situation. Make sure that any information you’ve been given about the background on why they need to sell their vehicle is truthful before handing over any cash. Just in case this person just happens to be the type of person who likes taking advantage of others’ good natures.

The I Can’t Afford It Scam

In a more extreme case, sometimes people might even claim to need cash for their car as soon as possible. But ultimately refuse to list a price on online listings.
In this case, the less information they give out about themselves and their car means that buyers will have very little clue as to what it’s worth. It makes it easier for them to receive an extremely high amount of money.

Without having to take into consideration that they could have gotten much more if they just priced it higher from the start. If someone tells you that they need cash right away because of some sort of family emergency or the like, yet won’t give you a price – refuse to deal with them and move on to someone else.

Some Easy Ways For Buyers And Sellers Alike To Protect Themselves Against Used Car Scams:

Get An Inspection

Not all cars can be inspected before purchasing them (especially privately), but if you can get a mechanic to inspect the car before handing over any money, it will save you from having to deal with unexpected repairs and hidden issues.

If insurance is involved, research The Company

There are many reputable used car dealers that can guarantee an insurance payout of some sort for buyers who purchase their cars. But if you choose not to do business with these companies then be sure to take your time researching them first.
Reliable used car sellers know this and may even provide references of previous customers. So that potential buyers can feel at ease knowing that they have been in the industry for a while and have built up a good reputation.

Do not respond to urgent requests

Always keep in mind that scammers want quick cash to get rid of their product. They may even act like they are in a hurry or complain about the car selling slowly because of its good condition.
If you sense any urgency, do not take it lightly, and be sure to know all your options before making any snap decisions.

Be Wary of Suspicious Behavior

If someone is trying to make you feel sorry for them or convince you that they are in some kind of distress then chances are something is wrong with the deal.
Always be sure to proceed cautiously when dealing with other parties who want nothing more than your money. Especially if they do not have anything concrete to tell you about their past experiences or reasons for moving on from the items that they are selling.

Ask Questions

It is advised that you do not feel pressured to buy something if the idea of it makes you uncomfortable. Sometimes people are nervous about asking too many questions, but these are some of the most important inquiries you can ask in any car-buying scenario.

Salvage Titles

An insurance claims adjuster who values an item at $500 or lower may issue a salvage title. So that it can be sold for parts rather than the whole. This is considered one of the most effective ways to get rid of damaged vehicles because it allows people within the industry to obtain parts quickly and cheaply without having to pay much in terms of taxes or fees related to repair costs.

Online Forums

There are also online forums that can be used for purchases and sales of vehicles, but the buyer must do his/her homework beforehand to ensure that the individuals you are dealing with are reputable. This is another way to get rid of older cars by simply passing them along to someone else.

Automobile Auctions

Some people sell their unwanted cars at luxurious auctions in order to get rid of them quickly. These types of events allow people within the industry (and outside) to get items they need easily. So if this sounds like something you would be interested in then feel free to make use of it.

Also, keep in mind that if you plan on selling a vehicle yourself. Then it will take some time for you to find someone who is interested in buying your used car. Since most people do not jump into making random purchase decisions without doing any research beforehand.
If you are planning on buying a car then it is best to take the necessary precautions before doing so. In order to protect yourself from potential scams and other issues that may arise without your knowledge.


In conclusion, make sure you understand how these scams work and do not become another statistic.
When it comes to buying a new or used car of any sort. There are a number of things that a person needs to think about. In order to ensure that they are going into the situation with their eyes wide open.
Like all major purchase decisions. Certain aspects of it should be considered beforehand to ensure that the process goes off without a hitch.
Some buyers may not even know about these scams. But, because they are so common in today’s used car sales industry. Any buyer who is serious about keeping his/her money safe will always be sure to look out for them. When approaching this type of situation.
If you want to avoid scams, then it is important that you pay close attention to your intuition. So that you can tell when something just does not feel right. Never take anyone at their word. Do some research on any businesses or individuals you think could potentially scam you in the future.

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