Car Scams

Auto dealerships scams, insurance fraud, car repair ripoffs, salvaged vehicles, towing scams, odometer rollback, curbstoning and car title loans are fleecing consumers that just want an honest deal when purchasing or caring for their cars.

While most car dealerships are honest there are more than a few that will try and trick you into paying more for your car than it’s worth or into financing your auto loan at a higher interest rate than you could. Some of these tread the line between trickery and outright fraud.

A new car is one of the most expensive and important purchases a consumer can make and they are expensive enough without dishonest auto dealers making you pay even more.

Get the Lowdown on Dealership Scams

These pages detail some of the the most common car dealership scams such as “Yo Yo Financing” (AKA Spot Delivery) or the ever-popular Prep Fee Scam. We also have advice and tips our advice on how to avoid these scams. We also take a hard look at some of the auto insurance scams and the practices of the auto insurance companies. You will be shocked to find out some of the methods insurers have developed to scam consumers.

A New Car Scam Every Day

Or at least it seems that way sometimes. Every time they add a new feature to cars, a scam appears to take advantage of it. Airbags are a great example. I can’t wait to see what the scammers dream up for in-dash GPS systems! We’ll deal with that when the day comes. There are plenty of ripoffs to talk about in the present. For example, we have car repair and towing scams to worry about.

We all accept that getting our cars repaired is going to be costly, but who wants insult added to injury by getting scammed in the process? I don’t and I bet you don’t either. That’s why knowing the tricks scammers use is so important. The list of car scams is a big one and growing larger every day. Cars and the services necessary to operate them are expensive and wherever money is involved you will find a con artist waiting to take your money.

Knowledge is Power

Some think driving a car is risky, but you’ll soon discover that purchasing, repairing and insuring your vehicle can be equally dangerous. Cars are expensive to purchase, care for or insure and shysters have come up with many ways to divert your auto budget to their wallets. It’s what they do and they’re really good at it. Even so, all is not lost. If you learn some of the tricks used by con atists your chances of being tricked in the dealer showroom, insurance agent’s office or at the repair shop are reduced considerably.

Lemon Laws by State

Visit our Lemon Laws section for information about Lemon Laws in your state. You mat have been tricked into driving a lemon home, but in many cases the law is on your side and enable you to fight back. If you want to find out more about Lemon Laws and how they protect you, start with a visit to our Lemon Law Resources section. Inside you’ll find the text of the law itself and many layman explanations of these codes, rules and regulations for all 50 states and the Districtof Columbia.



12 Responses

  1. Farooq Malik says:

    I looked up an ad in the Craigslist and asked the owner to drive his car over to a certain place so I could see it. I liked the car and paid the owner $500 to hold the car for me. He told me that he will receive the title docs by April 30th and at that point in time he will transfer the title to me along with the car. However, he has been making all kinds of excuses ever since about the title paper work getting late and bla bla. Now he wants me to pay for the car, he will give me the possession of the car on SC bill of sales and he will sign off the title to me when it arrives from DMV. I told him I will not pay any more money until I have the title in my hand. I have asked him to refund my money since he did not deliver the vehicle to me as promised. He has refused to that. By the way I have a signed receipt from him that he received $500 from me for the car along with the car VIN number. Any suggestions

    • patricia says:

      Call DMV. Maybe they can help..

    • Nichole says:

      We had a car for sale on CL young 20 something girl came alone after dark to look at it here at our home way out in the country pulled all the way up in the driveway way passed the car itself. She didn’t ask how many miles in our older car but asked some other strange questions, asked to take a pic of vin number on title so my husband covered other info and let her see only vin number she said she wanted car she would come back Monday with money order my husband said cash only she claim she can only get 500 out at a time she also quoted a different price than the listed price. Next day she texted asking for a picture of registration. Alarms going off all over the place. She also stated she was about to buy a different car a few days ago and the guy decided not to sell, ( he probably thought it was a scam also)

  2. Shelley says:

    Take him to small claims court.

  3. Bob says:

    Wouldn’t the “seller” have committed fraud?

  4. Roger Kern says:

    My 2000 jeep was stolen and found in less than an hour in Detroit. I had to pay $215.00 to get it out of the tow yard that looked like a junkyard. The attendant their was trying to sell me a new ignition switch that was destroyed. They were also running a repair and used parts business. He wanted $125.00 for replacing the ignition switch. The case is under investigation. The scumbag who stole my jeep left their I phone in my console. How many other people have had this happen to them.

  5. peter quinlan says:

    My neighbor’s older car was stolen on a friday night in Detroit MI. At 10 pm that night he notified police. They told him they don’t send squad cars to take reports on stolen vehicles; that he would have to wait until monday and go to a police station to file a stolen vehicle report. The police station (near 5 mile and Gratiot Ave.) had a broken walk through metal detector and everyone had to be individually wanded by hand by disinterested policewoman. The attitude at the station was lacadasical (lazy, disinterested, non-professional) at best. It was as they were doing you a favor. There was a loud bantering of voices(laughing, telling of stories) coming from the back offices of the station from unseen faces which was for police personnel. The police seemed more afraid, suspicious of us-don’t know why. The car had already been found by a tow company(monday morning) before we even reported the car stolen. $215.00 ($200 for the tow, $15 a day storage). It was as if we were victimized twice; car stolen by the thieves, then held for ransom by the police (or their subcontracted accomplices). My friend had already lost the security guard job he had just started due to lack of transportation, and now had to choose between paying his rent or reclaiming his car. He chose the car and lost the apartment. Poor people of all colors are victimized by the “system” on all ends because justice may be blind (yeah, sure), but lady justice wants her $$$. A couple of hundred may not faze those who have good jobs, but to the disenfranchised it’s a weeks wages and a game changer. I now use the “club” on my beater even if I will be in the store for a few minutes.

  6. Ray says:

    Also I found out that he could possibly be “bonded “by the parole office ..Really?

  7. D Hutchins says:

    I purchased a car from someone who used a fake Amazon as their third party and did not receive the car.. I called the police and moneygram to report fraud.. I have the receiver’s information and phone number. Will I get my money back?

  8. Mrs. Tom Norring says:

    I went to Golden Gate on April 26 and went through the toll tower. I did pay for my toll fee before the toll person could lift the gate for me to drive through.
    Yesterday, I received in the mail ,”the toll invoice”, indicates that I did not pay for the toll through the golden gate, and require me to pay $7.25 for the charge.
    I am very confuse. Is this actual claim or it is a scam letter? And why do I have to pay this bill when I already did. I do not have a receipt for the time I paid on that date, but it should not be necessary to get a receipt, because there is no way I could drive through without the gate lift up.
    Can you please explain and help me on this matter, I would be appreciated.
    Thanks in advance for your help.

  9. Chris says:

    Posted my car for sale on Craigslist. Got a strange text message from (312) 300-XXXX offering to buy the car sight unseen after his bank certified check clears my bank. He sent me the same message three times, so I tried to call – but it was a text messaging service – not a real phone call. I told him to call me with a compelling reason why he has a local phone number, but can’t call me or come see the car in person. Also told him my garage is protected by ADT and I’ve notified local police in case he comes looking for the car some night or when I’m not around.

  10. jackee says:

    A lady was selling a 2006 Honda Pilot on Craigslist for only $2000. Said her husband died and she was trying to get rid of the car. Asked me to purchase 4 greendot cards and load $500 each on it. She would have the car shipped to me. The money would be held by ebay and I had 7 days to review the car, if I didn’t like it I could get my money back. I foolishly did just that, sent ‘ebay’ my receipt of the cards as proof I had the funds’. I would get the car in two days. Next day both ‘ebay’ and the seller wanted an additional $1000 the same way as shipping insurance. I knew I had been had at that point. Feel so foollish, $2000 down the drain.

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