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The Dangers Accompanying Used Cars for Sale

2014-09-10 Used Cars For Sale San Diego



Consumers searching for a reliable used vehicle are always potential targets for car
sale scams. There are many types of criminal activity that accompany auto sales transactions. One of the main criminal offenses involves odometer fraud. This illegal scheme involves reversing the odometer reading (or "rolling back") to make the vehicle appear to have less mileage than it does. Odometer fraud occurs all the time, and used car buyers need to be wise to the possibility that such abuse is occurring at dealerships across the country.

Recently, a car dealer in Antioch, Calif. was arrested and charged for engaging in odometer fraud. In this case, a woman from nearby Hercules, Calif. purchased a used vehicle from California Car Sales. As purchased, the car showed an odometer reading of 113,000 miles. However, she later discovered that the vehicle actually had an additional 70,000 miles on it. She also found out that the vehicle had several mechanical problems, as expected for a true high mileage vehicle.

This victimized customer learned a very hard lesson. She paid just under $6,000 dollars for an unreliable vehicle, which soon required $10,000 in repairs. After she realized the true issues with the vehicle, she also had to purchase a new vehicle for an additional $29,000.

The owner of California Car Sales, and his wife, were eventually arrested and charged with over 80 criminal violations. However, this incident is merely one of a very widespread problem. The U.S. Department of Justice even estimates that these types of schemes result in over 1.2 billion dollars in damages in California alone.

Experts believe that the proliferation of odometer fraud incidents is due to technological advances that facilitate the crime. Odometer manipulation tools are now readily available through various online sources, including online auction sites. The tools, which usually cost a couple hundred dollars, end up costing customers thousands of dollars in losses. Interestingly, the tools themselves are not illegal, and are created for specific legal purposes. However, once in the wrong hands, the tools are abused and used to maximize the profits of unscrupulous dealerships.

Nonetheless, you don't necessarily need to shy away from used vehicle if that's all your budget can afford. There are many steps you can take to avoid an odometer fraud scam. Use online sites such as CarFax to verify information on the dealer's sticker. You can also seek out official DMV records to determine if something is out of the ordinary. Furthermore, you can always hire a mechanic to do a preliminary inspection of a vehicle to assist in uncovering hidden defects. In summary, always inform yourself before buying a used car. You should also read up on additional scams that occur in car buying scenarios.

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