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How to find car fraud on Craigslist



Craigslist scams are unfortunately quite common, so it is important to be extra vigilant if you want to buy a car from a seller on Craigslist. You can protect yourself from fraud by carefully evaluating your ad before looking further. If the ad seems legitimate, evaluate the seller next. If they seem reliable, evaluate the car to see if you want to buy it. Never spend any money on a car before you have seen it as it is a common way for people to be fooled on Craigslist.

[ Edit ] Step

[ Edit ] Identify fraudulent ads

  1. Watch out for ads with a very low or unusual price. If the price is significantly lower than you expect it to be, it is a red flag. Check out the Kelly Blue Book Prize for a fun run for what the prize should be. If it is significantly lower, such as 25% less or more, the ad is likely to be a fraud. A very specific price can also be a red flag, such as $ 2,347 or something along those lines. [1]
      Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 1 Version 4.jpg
    • If the seller suggests sending the car to you at an additional cost or including shipping in the sale price, this is probably a fraud. [2]
  2. Check the list for serious grammatical problems. If the car's description is poorly written and difficult to understand, it may have been written by a fraud. Forward all cars with descriptions that are full of grammatical, spelling, or other errors. [3]
      Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 2 version 4.jpg
    • For example, avoid an ad that reads something like, "new page for weel drive plus auxiliary extras."
  3. Perform a reverse image search of the car photo. Copy the image's url and paste it into Google image search, or download and save the image and then drag and drop it into the search bar after clicking the camera button next to the search bar, then review the results to determine if the same photo is published elsewhere. listings that use the same image are probably a scam. [4]
      Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 3 Version 3.jpg
    • By doing a reverse search of the image, you can even discover that the image is a stock photo and not a image of a real car for sale.
  4. Copy and paste the car description into Google to detect duplicates Place the description in quotation marks to find duplicate lists Some scammers will post multiple ads using the exact same language, so this is an easy way to clear fake ads. [5]
      Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 4 Version 4.jpg
    • Be careful if the language is similar to many other ads as well. Look at other aspects of the ad to look for red flags.
  5. Compare the price of the car in the ad with the website list. If the seller also has a website or Facebook page, make sure the prices for the car are the same on both sites. If the price stated at one of the stores is lower, negotiate from this price instead of from the higher price. [6]
      Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 5 Version 4.jpg
    • For example, if the car is listed for $ 2,500 on the seller's Facebook page and $ 3,000 on the Craigslist post, negotiate down from $ 2,500 rather than from 3,000 $.
  6. Email the seller if there is no place or phone number in the ad. The ad should clearly state where the car is located and provide a contact phone number for the seller. If there is no place or phone number in the list, it may be a red flag. However, you can email the seller to see if they will provide a location and phone number. If they refuse to tell you where the car is located to give you a phone number, this is probably a scam. [7]
      Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 6 Version 4.jpg
    • Another red flag is a place that doesn't do that It makes sense, for example "in Orlando in the mountains."

[ Edit ] Evaluate the seller

  1. Take special care with sellers who tell a sad story. Sob stories are often used by scammers to rush a sale, so be careful if the seller tells you or mentions other circumstances not related to the car. For example, Other things to watch out for include: [8]
      Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 7.jpg
    • Saying they are being distributed and having to sell the car in a hurry.
    • Claim that they have other buyers interested, so they need a decision right away.
    • Calls you repeatedly to ask if you have made a decision.
  2. Avoid salespeople who claim to handle sales for someone else. If the seller says they handle the sale of the car to a neighbor, older parent or anyone else, be careful. This is often a red flag and it may indicate that the car was stolen. Always ask to see the title and the seller's ID to ensure that the car you are looking at belongs to the seller. [9]
      Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 8.jpg
    • A seller may also claim to have less knowledge of the vehicle under the veil of this story, which may result in you not getting clear answers to your questions about the car.
  3. Examine all websites that the seller directs for payment. The safest option is to pay the seller cash, so be careful if they lead you to a website to make your payment. Sellers will often provide an escrow website address to increase the buyer 's sense of security, but that does not mean they are not fooling you. Carefully evaluate the site to make sure it is a legitimate site. [10]
      Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 9.jpg
    • Avoid sellers who claim to be associated with eBay or eBay Motors as well. This is a common scam and they can even send emails and links to websites that look like they came from eBay. [11]
  4. Avoid curbs that suggest meeting in their house. A curb dealer is someone who sells a car in front of the house. The person may be a dealer with a real car seat, but they can move a car to their house and park it in front to increase the perceived value of the car. People tend to be less critical of cars that seem to be sold by the previous owner, especially if the person lives in a nice neighborhood. [12]
      Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 10.jpg
    • If you decide to watch a friend or family member with you in a car at someone's home. If you don't know much about cars, bring someone who knows about cars.
  5. Call the seller to evaluate their knowledge and professionalism. Talking on the phone with a seller is a great way to know their character and ask more questions about the car. Ask about the condition of the car, any problems it has, and ask for a test run if you are interested. [13]
      Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 11.jpg
    • As an added bonus, some sellers are also willing to lower the price further if they perceive you as a serious buyer.
  6. Meet the seller in a public place to complete the final sales transaction. If you decide to buy a car from a Craigslist seller, it is best to make your payment in cash and in person. Ask to meet the person in a public place or in the bank to ensure that you will have witnesses if the person tries to rob you. [14]
      Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 12.jpg
    • Never pay the person using a bank transfer or using Western Union as this is a common fraud tactic.

[ Edit ] Evaluate the vehicle

  1. Refuse to pay any amount for a car you have never seen. If you haven't seen the car, it might not be there. Stick to cars that are close enough to your location to look at them. Avoid cars that are located in another state or country or even vehicles that are a few hours away. Try to buy only from local dealers so that you can bring your car in to them if there are any problems. [15]
      Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 13.jpg
    • Be especially careful with sellers who say they will send the vehicle to you. [16]
  2. Compare the odometer count with other age-related functions. The average person puts on a vehicle per year, so a car that is 3 years old would probably wear it. If the car has significantly fewer miles, the seller may have tampered with the driving gauge. Note the look of the interior and the condition of the tire. If the interior or the tires are well worn, the car's odometer may be incorrect. [17]
      Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 14.jpg
    • Keep in mind that older people and teens tend to drive around per year, so this can also account for lower mileage. Ask questions about the previous owner if the mileage seems low.
  3. Search the history of the car using the vehicle identification number. Scammers can give you a fake report that provides important details from your car's history. Do not accept a report provided by the seller. Instead, look up the car's history using the vehicle identification number (VIN). You can search VIN on a website like Carfax and get a full report. [18]
      Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 15.jpg
    • Be careful of all cars that are involved in accidents or have ongoing problems.
  4. Request to take the car for a longer test drive if the seller rushes it. Scammers often try to avoid allowing potential buyers to take the car for a full test drive as this can reveal problems with the car. If the seller is trying to speed the test run, tell them you want to run it a little further and under different conditions to see how well it works. If they say no or try to convince you that a longer test run is not necessary, do not buy the car. [19]
      Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 16.jpg
    • Drive the car slowly in the test drive and fast speeds, pay attention to how well it brakes and turns and note any unusual sounds.
  5. Ask to have the car evaluated by your mechanic before you buy it. If you are not car-qualified yourself, it can be difficult to detect problems with a car. Bring a friend who knows a lot about cars or ask the seller to meet you in your mechanic's garage to check the car for serious problems. [20]
      Spot Car Scams on Craigslist Step 17.jpg
    • For example, a mechanic will be better equipped to check the engine for major problems and tell if the seller may have tampered with the car in any way.

[ Edit ] References

  1. [1945 https: //www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a24892/how-to-car-craigslist-scam/
  2. https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/05/24/cbs-2- discover-used-car-scam-on-craigslist /
  3. https://www.popularmechanics .com / cars / a24892 / how-to-car-craigslist-scam /
  4. [1945 https://www.businessinsider.com/car-scams-craigslist-2019-4#spoof-pages-1 Chapter19659069vard 1945 https://www.businessinsider.com/car-scams-craigslist-2019- 4 # spoof-pages-1
  5. https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a24892/ how-to-car-craigslist-scam /
  6. [1945 https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a24892/how-to-car-craigslist-scam/
  7. [1945 https: //www.businessinsider.com/car -scams-craigslist-2019-4 # spoof-pages-1
  8. [1945 https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a12216400/how-to- Avoid-this-common craigslist c ar -buying-scam /
  9. [1945 https://www.businessinsider.com/car-scams-craigslist-2019-4#spoof-pages-1
  10. https: // newyork . cbslocal.com/2011/05/24/cbs-2-uncovers-used-car-scam-on-craigslist/strong19659076vard↑ https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a12216400/how -for to avoid-this-ordinary-craigslist-car-buy-scam /
  11. https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a24892/how-to-car-craigslist-scam/ [19659078] ↑ https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a24892/how-to-car-craigslist-scam/
  12. https://www.businessinsider.com/car-scams-craigslist- 2019-4 # spoof-pages-1
  13. https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/0 5/24 / cbs-2-uncovers-used-car-scam-on-craigslist / [19659078][1945 https://www.businessinsider.com/car-scams-craigslist-2019-4#spoof-pages -1
  14. https://www.businessinsider.com/car- scams-craigslist-2019-4 # spoof-pages-1
  15. [1945 https://www.businessinsider.com / car-scams-craigslist-2019-4 # spoof-pages-1
  16. https://www.businessinsider.com/car-scams-crai gslist-2019-4 # spoof-pages-1 [19659085]
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