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How to protect yourself from scams when selling a used car

How to protect yourself from scams when selling a used car

If you have a used car to sell, our tips are going to help protect you from a variety of scams that are happening. There are always new scams popping up but if you heed our advice, you will be fine.

Safeguard your personal information

Most private car sellers use social media to try and find interested buyers. Social media is also perused by scammers who are looking for a way to make a quick buck.

What some scammers do is take note of the type of vehicle you are selling and then watch to see if you post about going on vacation or being away from home for an extended period.

While you are away, the crooks will cut the catalytic converters off your car and sell them for a tidy sum. Theft of these converters is on the rise.

Deal locally without exception

Another popular approach is the “out-of-town buyer”. You will receive an email from someone very interested in buying your car, they are soo interested they are willing to pay the full asking price sight unseen. This may seem like it is your lucky day, but it could be a nightmare!

These buyers are typically located abroad, but they send a check to you via UPS or some other courier service. The check looks legitimate so you figure this is a good deal.

Once you receive the check, the buyer will contact you to have one of their “friends” come and pick up the vehicle. This “friend” could be someone they hired from Kijiji or is part of the criminal enterprise.

You deposit the check and when the person stops by to pick up the car, you give them the keys and carry on with your life. Now here is where things go sideways.

A month or so after you have deposited the check you will notice your bank has clawback the money that was deposited. The check you received was drawn on a closed account or one that never existed.

If you called the police and claim your car was stolen, the cops will say it is a civil matter because it was a financial transaction. Even if you did file a theft, your insurance will not cover you and the car is most likely inside a container on its way to Europe or Africa.

We are not trying to scare you into keeping your car, just want to make you aware that things are not always what they appear to be.

How to sell your used car with peace of mind

A better way to sell your used car and avoid all of the headaches we just described is to go through a local dealership. The dealership is always buying and selling cars, so you will be able to find out what your car is worth and if you take their offer, you will get paid right away. By dealing with a reputable, local dealership you can avoid all of the headaches that come with selling a used car online.

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