Avoid This Common Scam When you Sell your Vehicle Privately

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An increasingly common scam targeting private vehicle sellers has become a problem for many private sellers across Canada and the U.S.  In fact, even the U.S. Federal Trade Commision (FTC) has been receiving a large number of complaints about this scam in recent years. 

And it happens here. We have had reports of this scam in from people selling their vehicles online in Victoria.

What is the Scam?

Private sellers will be contacted by seemingly interested buyers, who are excited to pay for the vehicle but only if they receive a vehicle history report. This is a common request that many private buyers will ask for. 

However, these buyers will not accept vehicle history reports from the most trusted vehicle history websites like CarFax. Instead the scammers instruct the seller to acquire the report from a designated website. To obtain the report, the seller must provide personal information and make a payment of around $20 using a credit card. After obtaining the report, the seller sends it to the supposed buyer but never receives a reply.

Here is a recent example of this scam appearing in Alberta.

This is commonly known as the “vehicle history report scam.” The potential buyer, who really is just scammer that has no interest in your vehicle, owns the website that they directed you to. Once you submit the $20 or other similar dollar amount through the website to purchase a report, whether through Paypal or other means, you’ll likely never hear from the scammer again.

While sometimes the initial $20 is all the scammer is after, more commonly they are targeting your personal information in order to gain access to emails and banking information, which can cause much more financial damage and potential headaches in the future.

How do you Avoid this Scam for No Cost to you? 

Always be aware of potential scams looming when selling your vehicle privately. If you have service records for the vehicle and an up to date car history report for the vehicle then you shouldn’t need to provide additional information or go to a specific link that a buyer is asking for. 

The FTC has a list of trusted vehicle history report websites that you can use to determine if a website is safe. These reports usually cost $50-$65 dollars but will keep your personal information safe. 1 of the 3 recommended websites is CarFax, the same website we use to gather vehicle history reports for all of our vehicles. 

Kia Victoria offers a no hassle appraisal service for any make or model where our vehicle experts will appraise your vehicle and make you a fair offer to purchase. Even if you don’t accept our offer you will receive a market value report showing what similar vehicles to yours are selling for a currently and a no charge to you CarFax history report for your vehicle that will show the full history of the vehicle since it was first purchased. The appraisal can be completed in 20 minutes and if you accept our offer we’ll provide you a cheque on the spot. 

Contact us today to schedule your no hassle appraisal here.