NADAguides Warns of Online Vehicle Escrow Scam Utilizing the NADAguides.com Name
NADAguides warns car buyers of fake “NADAguides” websites being used to perpetrate an apparent scam. These websites, which are neither authorized by nor in any way connected with NADAguides, attempt to solicit funds from buyers via an escrow-based program. NADAguides is a publisher of vehicle pricing and valuations online and in print and does not offer a vehicle escrow service.
These unauthorized websites have a similar appearance to the authentic NADAguides.com website. The websites that have come to our attention offer to facilitate vehicle sales transactions including payment and delivery. NADAguides, does not offer those services and does not authorize or have any connection with any websites or people who offer such services.
NADAguides is working with authorities to provide information and assistance where possible to stop the misuse of the NADAguides reputation that you, our customers, have come to trust.
Common auto scam warning signs provided by the FBI
Sellers who want to move the transaction from one listing platform/site to another.
Sellers who push to speed up the completion of the transaction and request money via wire transfer payment systems.
Sellers who will not meet in person, or allow the buyer to inspect the vehicle in person before the completion of the purchase.
Transactions in which the seller and vehicle are in different locations. Criminals may claim they were transferred for work, deployed by the military, or moved due to family circumstances, and could not take the car with them.
Vehicles being sold well below their market value. If it looks too good to be true, it most likely is.
The FBI today is warning the public that online vehicle shoppers are being victimized by fraudulent vehicle sales and false claims of vehicle protection programs (VPP). In fraudulent vehicle sales, criminals attempt to sell vehicles they do not own. They create an attractive deal by advertising vehicles for sale at prices below book value. Often the sellers purport they need to sell the vehicle because they are moving for work, to include military deployments.
Because of the alleged pending move, criminals refuse to meet the victim in person or allow a vehicle inspection, and they often attempt to rush the sale. To make the deal appear legitimate, the criminal instructs the victim to send full or partial payment to a third-party agent via a wire transfer payment service and to fax the payment receipt to the seller as proof of payment.
The criminal pockets the payment but does not deliver the vehicle. Criminals also attempt to make their scams appear valid by misusing the names of reputable companies and programs. These criminals have no association with these companies, and their schemes give buyers instructions that do not adhere to the rules and restrictions of any legitimate program. For example, eBay Motors' VPP is a legitimate program whose name is commonly misused by these criminals.
The VPP is not applicable to transactions that originate outside of eBay Motors, and it prohibits wire-transfer payments. Nevertheless, criminals often promise eBay Motors VPP coverage for non-eBay Motors purchases and instruct victims to pay via Western Union or MoneyGram.
In a new twist, criminals use a live-chat feature in e-mail correspondence and electronic invoices. As live-chat assistants, the criminals answer victims' questions and assure them the deals are safe, claiming that safeguards are in place to reimburse buyers for any loss. The criminals falsely assert that their sales are protected by liability insurance coverage up to $50,000.
Automotive shoppers should exercise due diligence before engaging in transactions to purchase vehicles advertised online.
Safe online car buying tips
Savvy online shoppers should follow these car buying tips
Research the vehicle, as well as personally inspect the vehicle. Request a vehicle history report so that you know the vehicle’s history, as well as the title and have a mechanic look at the car BEFORE you purchase it.
If purchasing online, make sure to look into the seller’s background. Read feedback and check seller’s ratings and comments. Communicate with them directly via phone.
Never pay via Western Union or MoneyGram or other wire services.