Identifying a Scam

I speak with a lot of people throughout the day with questions about an email they received or a conversation they had with someone and they all wanted to know if they were dealing with someone who was legit or not. So I thought I would give everyone guidelines to help identify a scam whether your a seller or buyer.

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Text Message Scams

In today's day and age people text more than they talk to each other. So it wouldn't be unusual to receive text messages for leads. However what better way for a fraudster to scam someone; you don't have the face-to-face contact that you once had, you don't have to talk to anyone and you can use a phone service to send text messages for you. What can be done to avoid these types of scams.

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Salvaged Title Fraud - How to Protect Yourself

A salvaged title means that the vehicle at some point in time has been claimed a total loss by the insurance company (damage exceeded 50-75% of its actual cash value). Depending on the state, recovered stolen vehicles are issued salvaged titles and government agency vehicles are sometimes issued salvaged titles for vehicles that they have used and are now replacing with new vehicles.

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Recent Fraud Trends

I've been thinking about what to write for this week's blog and decided to blog about trends in fraud and what is being reported to us by our customers. Navigating the internet is an interesting experience, especially when we can buy groceries on-line, buy or sell a vehicle, go shopping and plan a vacation from the comfort of home or an office. So what trends in fraud am I seeing?

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Phishing Scams Exposed - Part II

Last week I blogged about phishing scams and what they are. This week, I want to talk about what to do when you’ve opened an email from someone you don’t know and then decided to click on the link within the email. What do you do?

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Phishing Scams Exposed - Part 1

This morning as I was sitting on the train coming into the city I was thinking about what I wanted to write on the Safe Blog for the week. I asked myself the question, what effects our customers on a regular basis and how can I educate people who read this blog. If you've ever received an email, you probably received hundreds if not thousands of emails from people you don't know. So what is the risk of opening an email from someone you don't know? The risk to you is great, that email could watch your every move and log your every keystroke.

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Cars.com Transaction Scam

If you receive an email with subject: "Cars.com Transaction xxxxxx confirmed!," this is NOT an email from Cars.com.  Cars.com does not have a safe transaction program.

Cars.com provides an environment to bring car sellers and buyers in contact with each other. We do not have any involvement or influence in the actual vehicle transaction.

Example Email:

CarsTransactionScam
 

Payment Invoice for Transaction

We have reports of car buyers receiving a scam email with a subject line of "Payment Invoice for Transaction ID# XXXXXXXX."  If you receive an email with this or a similar subject, please refrain from further correspondence with the seller.  Never wire money to a buyer or seller regardless of any assurances they make.

Cars.com is ONLY a classified listing service and NEVER is involved in payment between the seller and buyer.  Despite contrary appearances, this email was not sent by Cars.com.

SAMPLE FRAUD TRANSACTION EMAIL (Click on Image to Enlarge)

Paymentinvoice

Financial Department from Cars.com Spoof

Cars.com simply provides a classified listing service and never participates in transactions between buyers and sellers; specifically, we do not sell vehicles, collect payments for vehicles, warehouse vehicles, or ship vehicles.

SAMPLE EMAILS FROM FRAUDSTER (Click on images to enlarge)---------------------------------------------

Financial_email, Scam and Fraud exposed, example of a phishing attempt

Hi again,

Here is what I suggest: we will use financial department from cars.com. I send the car over, you can inspect it, take it to a mechanic to check it out, drive it and then pay the remaining ballance. If, by any reason, you will not be satisfied with it ( even though I can assure you that it is exactly as described), you can return it at my expense for a full refund of your money, no questions asked. I think this is more than fair for the both of us. If you agree, please provide your full name and shipping address and I will get everything started immediately. Afterwards, cars.com will invoice you the transaction details and payment instructions. All you will need to do is follow through with their guidelines. I'm looking forward to hear from you.

Thank you,

Purchaseprotection_email_2

The escrow process of Cars.Com for the completion of a transaction (purchase or sale) through Internet can be done in four simple steps: 

     1.   A transaction agreement is established;

    2.   The buying party remits the transaction amount to Cars.Com.

    3.   The selling party ships the merchandise to the buying party.

    4.   After the expected date of delivery has elapsed, the buying party is granted a 30-day inspection period, after acceptance of the merchandise by the buying party the selling party is paid.

Pay for additional listings scams

Hello-

We've learned of a scam that has not hit our site but has hit several sites in other classified advertising categories, and we want you to stay ahead of the game.

Basically, a scammer will post an ad through us, but through either the text of an ad, or if you communicate with that seller, they will invite you to register/pay to see more listings. Usually these companies just want you to enter your credit card information so that they can use it!

Often these companies claim to have their car through impoundment or other police acquisitions, reposession, or some tie to an insurance company. Remember our fraud tips and you should be fine.




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