There is legislation in nearly all the U.S states that protects used car buyers from used car dealer fraud. This means that auto dealers are not allowed to practice deceptive means of advertising or selling vehicles. The legislation prohibits the dealers to lie the customers about the vehicle or to conceal any kind of information from the buyer, especially if the vehicle is in a condition that may challenge the vehicle’s safety.
Despite the law, there are many dealers who still practice used car dealer fraud and who, unfortunately succeed in cheating and ripping off unsuspecting car shoppers. Following are several common types of used car fraud:
“Bait and Switch” Advertising
“Bait and Switch” is one of the oldest tricks that some car dealers especially like to practice. The scenario is the following: you see a car advertisement in your local magazine and you get surprised at the extremely low price that the dealer is asking for the car. Of course you rush to the dealership to get the car, but here you are welcomed with a smile full of regret. The dealer tells you that the car has just been sold out. And here they immediately switch you to a similar vehicle with a higher price. You are caught! You agree to purchase that car and you think you got another good deal. Most car buyers do not even notice that they are becoming victims of car fraud that has been planned long before they entered the dealership.
Another type of used car dealer fraud is when the dealer charges used car buyer huge sums of money for add-ons and additional equipment. Of course, such things like paint sealant, window etching, alarm system and fabric protection are attractive elements on a used vehicle. However, this doesn’t mean that the dealer can ask from $200-$2000 for them.
This is another type of used car dealer fraud that is practiced rather often by some dealers. The scenario is that the dealer lets the car shopper take the vehicle home even if the car financing has not been approved yet. A few days later, the dealer calls the vehicle purchaser and informs him/her that the financing fell through because of their low credit score. The buyer here has got only two options; he/she must either return the vehicle and pay for wear and tear and mileage or agree to add money to his/her loan payments to be able to drive the vehicle further.
If after reading this article, you feel you have been a victim of used car dealer fraud, turn to an experienced auto dealer fraud attorney for legal help. Know your rights, do not let anyone rip you off!