Posted Thursday, November 17, 2022
Any deal, if not backed with professional legal support, is accompanied by many risks, and selling a car in the USA is no exception. The Indy Auto Man team gathered the top red flags and common frauds an ordinary car owner may face when selling a car privately.
Potential buyers of the car offer to sign a contract. As a rule, a private seller does not have ready-made paperwork. This is what scammers use and offer their documents. An important trifle is a point with the conditions for the car transfer. The contract does not say when the seller undertakes to transfer the car to the buyer and what the proof will be. For example, when selling to a reliable car dealership, like Indy Auto Man, the parties sign a separate act of acceptance and transfer, but private sellers do this extremely rare.
The deal seems to have gone well. The seller has the money, and the buyer gets the car. After a while, a call rings – the buyer asks to re-register the contract for his relatives or friends. It would seem that the seller does not risk anything: the money is already in the pocket. Moreover, in some cases, scammers even offer to pay extra for the inconvenience caused. Buyers also stimulate the haste to dull the attention of the seller. Only the second buyer comes for re-issuance and after signing the new contract, destroys the first document or simply defiantly throws it away. However, in reality, it turns out that this is nothing more than a copy. When the signature of the second buyer is there, the first one returns to the game and demands the seller to hand over the car, appealing to the first contract. Later, a second buyer appears, and together they put pressure on the seller, accusing him of fraud because he allegedly sold one car to two different people. So the seller turns from a victim into a fraudster. The villains demand the return of the money, threatening to go to the police.
Swindlers will come only if there are two keys to the car. And they will arrive in a group: one seller will not have time to keep track of everyone. Potential buyers, but, in fact, scammers, examine the car, check the paintwork, peer into the documents, although they may not take it in their hands, fearing to leave prints on the plastic, and check the keys. While one of them turns the keys in hands, others distract the seller with questions, and at this time, a professional hijacker copies the chip data.
The tool for opening the car is now in the hands of attackers. Having agreed (or not agreed) on a deal, the parties will disperse, but the hijackers will keep an eye on the desired car and, at the first opportunity, will steal it.
One of the main risks when selling your car in the USA is the cash. Scammers often use the argument that they are in a hurry and that the deal must be completed faster for various reasons. Money is transferred in the form of bundles. They can be tied with paper tape with indistinct stamps, like bank parcels. On the outside, the bills will be authentic, and on the inside – fake. Therefore, it is best to carry out the transaction in the presence of a notary and check the money at the bank’s cash desk before signing the papers.
A bank transfer does not always protect a careless seller from fraud. The buyer asks for your account details. Immediately after that, he declares that his bank has a limit, so you must say the code that will come by SMS. You should do this in no way since after transferring the code, all money will be debited from your account, and the buyer naturally disappears.
Another fraudulent scheme some people face when selling their vehicles in the USA is fake car dealerships. Such companies appear for a short time, actively looking for a car owner who is ready to assign the selling process to a dealership. They offer incredibly favorable conditions, often valid for a short term. The owner brings the car to a dealer, transfers the documents, and signs a power of attorney.
But there no car sale happens. At first, the employees of such a dealership stop communicating, and soon the dealer closes. As a result, the car owner does not receive either money or a car. The most horrible thing is that it will be hard to return the property because the owner himself signed the documents for the transfer. In addition, most fake dealerships have no legal registration.
Follow these simple tips to protect yourself from scammers:
Selling your car in the USA without professional assistance carries many risks. Save your nerves, money, and time – schedule your visit to the Indy Auto Man used car dealership in Indianapolis, or get your online appraisal right now!