The Department Of Motor Vehicles (DMV) dispenses cautionary information to everyone about buying stolen vehicles.
DMV investigators issued a statement that stolen cars posed as used cars for sale are increasing. The department also added that people should be aware and refrain the scam when the situation arises.
According to the Insurance Information Insitute (III), a total of 873,080 cases of auto theft happened in 2020. That’s a 9.2% increase compared to the instances collected two years ago. Although there are no numbers available, there is a good possibility that at least 25% of stolen cars in the US are sold.
How Scammers Sell Stolen Cars
People steal cars for several reasons, and most of these reasons are monetary in nature. One reason is that they need the vehicles for their parts. They steal cars, bring them to a “chop shop” where they dismantle the car parts, and sell them. Another reason is to simply scam people by selling them. Once a scammer steals a car, they’re going to alter the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), falsify a pink slip, and advertise it for sale on sites like Facebook.
Once they trap a victim, they’re going to run off with the money, leaving the stolen vehicle – and the blame – to their prey. That’s why it’s important to note that people who sell cars online with much aggression and haste may be trying to sell stolen cars. So when you encounter one online, always put your guard on.
Steve Gordon, the Director over at DMV, wanted to remind the consumers that “if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
Ways To Check A Stolen Car For Sale
Now that you know how thieves steal cars and scam people, how can you determine a stolen vehicle for sale? Below are some telltale signs you can spot that something is “too good to be true.”
We’ve already mentioned this, but we’re going to reiterate one more time. These scammers will always try to pressure their victims into buying the vehicle. So, when the seller seems aggressive and pushy, they might be selling a stolen vehicle.
Look For the License Plate, Title, And Missing Keys
When a person steals cars then puts them up for sale, there are two crucial things they can’t or refuse to show: the license plate, car title, and the original keys to the vehicle. When you’re planning to buy a car you found online, check it in person. If the vehicle doesn’t have a license plate and the original keys, the car might be stolen. When the seller “refuses” to show them, the more reason to suspect.
To check on the title, make sure that the VIN matches the vehicle. You can use this VIN checker for free by clicking on the link.
Avoid Buying From Guarantee-Free Sites
Sites such as Facebook and Craigslist are great platforms for entrepreneurs to advertise their products and services for free. However, it is also a hotbed for scammers to put stolen cars up for sale. And sites like these have no warranty; it’s up to you to take on the offer. To prevent this from happening, refrain from buying massive purchases on these mentioned sites and similar.
When looking for cars for sale online, visit a car marketplace where legitimate dealerships sell their cars, with each vehicle has its own vehicle condition report. This way, you’re free from the worries of losing a lot of money from scammers.