Fraud Prevention Tips

We have put together a list of tips to help protect consumers from any fraudulent ads that may have made it onto the Cars.com site and other internet scams when it comes to buying or selling a car on-line.

  1. If an ad is too good to be true it probably is.
  2. Never purchase a vehicle without seeing it first.
  3. Do not wire money domestically or internationally. Once you send a wire you will not be able to recall that wire.
  4. Beware of sellers who refuse to meet in person or don't allow the seller and buyer to meet in person.
  5. If a seller requires the buyer to wire the money to a Western Union or any another financial institution, walk away from the deal.
  6. If a seller promises you eBay Protection Programs walk away. eBay Protection Programs do not cover vehicle purchases made on websites such as Cars.com.
  7. If a seller wants the buyer to use Google Checkout, walk away from the deal. This is another attempt of the fraudster to get the seller to wire them money for a vehicle.
  8. Cars.com does not offer a Vehicle Protection Program (VPP) or any type of insurance on the sale of a vehicle.
  9. Cars.com does not have vehicle inventory.
  10. Cars.com does not send out Payment Invoice Transactions.
  11. Cars.com is not an escorw service.
  12. Sometimes fraudsters use email addresses that look similar to one that Cars.com might use to look more legitimate. Here is an example of a fraudulent email address, transactions@cars.com
  13. If a seller pushes for a speedy completion of a transaction because they are being deployed, moving to another country, transferring for work, or getting a divorce exercise extreme caution.
  14. Even though an ad lists a VIN, always check the VIN on the vehicle to make sure it matches the VIN on the ad before purchasing the vehicle.
  15. If a buyer wants to send a check or cashier's check for more than the amount of the vehicle and wants you to send them the difference do not accept the payment. The check or cashier's check is probably counterfeit.

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Comments 

This is great tips for consumers to know ...

I'm interested in a truck advertised on cars.com The seller wants to set a account on Amazon to handle the transfer of funds.
Is this a good Idea?

John,
If you haven't seen the truck in question I would not transfer the funds. I reviewed the ad in question and the mileage looked low for the truck in question. If you could call me at 312.515.1032 I have a few questions about your interaction with the seller.

Thanks

Jeramie

YES IS VERY GOOD ACCOUNT AMAZON PAYMENT

I bought more cars with this mode of payment and was fine

But you can't be gone from one place and show up somewhere else entirely. So when you turn up, you're never missin'. And when you're missin', you never turn up.

really good tips to prevent fraud preventions thanks for sharing

Hello?

I have a problem and is getting more painful. I found a car from the site and agreed the price with the seller. I already transfer my money but the seller has not been shipped the car. I have found strange information about the seller from internet. It seems they do a theft. What should I do know? Could you help me what should I do?? Please???

I have a problem and it is getting more painful. I found a car from the site and agreed the price with the seller. I already transfer my money but the seller has not been shipped the car. I have found strange information about the seller from internet. It seems they do a theft. What should I do now? Could you help me what should I do?? Please???

Please call me to talk. I may be reached at 888-780-1286, option 2.

This guys sent me the Vin # (still have not checked it), pictures of the car, and said it would be shipped through Amazon FPS. Is this a scam. Seems way too good to be true.

Hi Stephen - Yes this seems to be a scam. Do not move forward with this transaction. I'll reply offline to get more information from you.

Thanks

Jeramie

Your are doing a great service by informing everyone!

This is good to know, thanks!

I AM A CAR DEALER IN DALLAS TEXAS AND I HAVE BUY IT 6 CARS AND I MADE THE PAYMENT BY AMAZON FPS.
EVERYTHING WORKS GREAT, BECAUSE TODAY I SING THE RECEIVING DOCUMENTS FROM THE TRANSPORT COMPANY AND ALL THE 6 CARS ARE IN MY BACKYARD. ANYWAY I JUST WANT TO POINT THAT WE CAN USE AMAZON FPS TO MAKE PAYMENTS, THEY REALLY KEEP FUNDS SECURE.

I HOPE I CAN HELP SOMEONE WITH MY COMM AND THANKS CARS.COM FOR KEEPING US SAFE. MICHAEL

There are also many things to be careful of when selling a car. Be careful where you meet, make sure to see a persons valid ID and insurance before allowing a test drive (write down the info and leave it with someone if possible)and only allow one person in the car and if possible and no one in the back seat except yourself or at least use huge discretion and judgement when doing so. dont let them follow with an accomplice vehicle and if you are selling an exotic or very expensive car know that there are many people that want to just drive a high end car with no intent of buying and even want to show off to a friend of GF etc. Be cautious of people that dont look the car over well i.e. check under the hood, trunk or look it over well and begin making offers or if they act like money is no object. I'm selling a few Lamborghini's right now and I won't even allow a test drive but let them hear and see the car in action only. I also provide a current presale checklist from a local Lamborghini dealer. I may give them a ride but only if they empty their pockets and depending on my assessment of them as a qualified buyer or based on their perceived character but I also dont jump to conclusions and judge every book by its cover. Some very qualified buyers may not show up in Rolex and Armani though I am extremely careful and have had some real strange and unusual experiences with big talkers and show offs and even if they are well dressed you cant take that as a qualifier. Some people may get dressed up for a photo shoot of themselves with your car or just to feel good since they are trying to be a big shot and drive a fast car maybe trying to impress someone. I have seen it more than once and the local Lambo dealer told me the same thing. Some people like to feel like Big Shots and will sometimes do almost anything to do it and don't care how much of your time they waste. Be very careful with people once you allow them into your space/vehicle and even when accepting cash or any kind of check to include a cashiers check. Do the transaction at a bank where they can verify the validity of either and certify the funds or cash the check right there and have the bank check any cash as well and even have them wire the funds to your account if possible or even get a safe deposit box right then and there to park the money if it is a large amount. Don't ever leave the premise with the person giving you the cash. Have someone pick you up or at least get a taxi well after they have left. Never let them see where you live. In completing the sale and handing over the vehicle make them show you proof if insurance and take your plates off the vehicle or at least make a real understanding that you will pick them up or need them back asap then immediately inform your insurance and DMV of the sale of the vehicle with any required forms. Make a copy of the signed over title after the transaction and compare the buyers name with their ID before signing it over. There are so many scammers, flakes and BS'rs out there so be careful. Expect almost anything and everything. Stay public and check ID and verify "all" forms of payment. BE CAREFUL.

For those of you asking if you can use "Amazon Payments" as an escrow service to buy your car or to use to wire money to someone selling a car, I'm here to tell you that it is a scam. Amazon Payments does not have an escrow program, not can you wire money using a 3rd party service like Western Union, etc.

The only official Amazon Payments home page is https://payments.amazon.com.

Do not use Amazon Payments to buy your car as it is almost 100% likely to be a scam.

Amazon Payments is a great service, it's just not being used by the scammers who claim to be selling cars.

I Am Very Happy To Read Of Your Blog.Really Great Post.Its brilliant.

Are there any frauds/scams that SELLERS should be worried about? I've already had TWO phishing scam emails sent to me in response to my ad on craigslist - which is why I came to cars.com hoping to avoid these kinds of responses. Is there anything else I should worry about? I've learned to be wary of ppl who want to buy without even seeing the car first. How stupid, who would buy a car like that?? I'm sad to hear that there are scammers on here as well... Thanks!

Hi, thanks to a brilliant effort in publishing your article. One can be more informative as this. There are many things I can know only after reading your wonderful article. More information about that could be useful. This is really a great site.

watch out for this...

Thanks for getting back to me on this, i am still interested in buying
this vehicle, i am buying it for my personal use,I will need this
following details so i can proceed with the payment right away.
Are you the first owner:
I will like to know if this vehicle has been involved in any accident before:
What is your reason for selling it?
Your PayPal email Address:
Address:
Last price:
I'm sorry, just want to be sure about the sale before i proceed
Regards
Brendan Taylor


I've just put my car on cars.com and I have been getting hit with nothing but scammers. It's frustrating after I just put down $40 to place an ad, and all I get are scumbags. But here's what I've learned so far that they all have had in common.
1. BAD ENGLISH! I'm not talking about "ya'll" or "you betcha". I'm talking about poor spelling of normal words, punctuation, or just a sense of English not being their first language.

2. Text asking to e-mail because they can't call. IF YOU HAVE TIME TO TEXT, YOU HAVE TIME TO CALL!

3. Asking for a final price without ever seeing/driving the car. UNLESS YOU HAVE PROOF OF WHY IT SHOULD NOT BE PRICED THE WAY IT IS, THEN THAT IS THE FINAL PRICE!

Sorry for griping, I just wasn't expecting to get so many low lifes responding to my ad.

Get a real job and work for your money.

Hope this helps those who feel my pain.

What if someone offers to pay through Paypal?

People are very easiliy scammed, and this will get worse with time. Paypal has more scam victims coming in every day!

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