Can You Spot the Scam?

Buying a used vehicle is inherently risky, and sometimes even a Carfax report is not sufficient to spot scams for cars listed on Craigslist.

Can You Spot the Scam?

Not only is buying a car the second most expensive purchase a person makes, but it’s also a an infrequent one. Buying a used vehicle is inherently risky, for the obvious reason that a used vehicle has a history. All of these points make it difficult to spot scams. Some are easier to catch than others. Our Fraud & Safety team are experts, they scan thousands of vehicles every month to weed out scams and you can leave the verifying up to us.

Below is a vehicle found on Craigslist – can you spot the scam?

– The vehicle’s condition is “excellent”
– The title is listed as “clean”
– The pictures look great

You may think – this looks great – let me double check the CarFax and you pull the report:

The CarFax Report Shows:
– The vehicle shows has 1 owner
– Clean title
– No accidents
– No structural damage
– No odometer fraud
– No airbag deployment
– Never reported as stolen

At this point you’re thinking – is this a trick? This must be a great car, I don’t see anything wrong with it. Above is what most buyers will do and they’ll feel fairly confident they are getting a legitimate vehicle.

What Carfax doesn't tell you

Here at Instamotor our Fraud & Safety Team takes it further. We uncover the blind spots, the fraud that isn’t easily detected.

Three weeks before this vehicle was listed on Craigslist it was also listed at SalvageBid – the vehicle was up for auction. Below is the listing:

You can see it’s the same car (by looking at the VIN) and the damage includes both the frame, front end, and an airbag deployment.

The total cost of this fraud is astounding. The general public has no way of identifying this type of scam.

– The vehicle was purchased for $2,500 from the auction
– The scammer spent about $2k fixing the vehicle (not up to standards)
– The scammer turned around and sold this vehicle for $24,500, making a profit of $20k

The unsuspecting buyer would shell out $24,500 for a vehicle under the false assumption that it was in perfect condition.

Buying Tips
The Instamotor TeamThe Instamotor Team

Not your typical used car salesman. Our team is here to provide honest and transparent advice about car buying and selling.

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