We’ve all heard about these creeps: Scammers! But sometimes, we tend to shelve them into the back of our minds. Why? Because we can’t put a face to them, something so arbitrary and unseen can often be hard to take seriously. If we should be deceived and choose to engage them, we put ourselves at serious risk. We are most particularly vulnerable when we are trying to buy something over the internet. Scammers selling used cars can sometimes be very believable when they have something to offer that we need.
Rule #1: If something is too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true. Actually, scratch that word “probably”. If someone offers you a car for a price that is a fraction of what it is worth, come back to reality and move along. Check out the car ad offering a 2007 Infiniti G35 for $23,000. Now that is real. Scammers selling used cars will typically justify their unbelievable offer by procuring some measure of emotional despair. ”I inherited this 2007 Honda Civic from my late husband and I can’t drive, I just want to get rid of it fast. You can have it for $1,500″. This “widow” is probably some guy at a cyber cafe in Amsterdam offering you a car through the Chicago craigslist (for instance). Scammers selling used cars aren’t stupid. They will offer you a real car with a real vin # that you could look up at carfax. But you would only be referencing a car that they likely do not even own!
Rule #2: If you can’t meet with the seller in person and see the car for yourself, forget about it! Think about this, if you can’t meet with the seller face to face, that means they’ll ask you to send them a check or even be bold enough to ask you to submit payment via the web with your bank account information. If they try and convince you with some “ensured secure pay” feature, chances are it’s not even real. They get your money and then they pull a Houdini on you.
Rule #3: Always keep in mind that scammers selling used cars can tailor their pitch to relate to you specifically. For instance, this goon might be telling you that they have to get rid of their sweet car for pocket change because they are going to Iraq next week. As members of the military community, we all understand the great magnitude of stress that comes from deployment orders. We also know that for those being deployed, especially if you have been deployed yourself, there is a lot of planning that must be done. But I can’t say that any of us in our right mind would dump one of our cars for less than half of it’s worth no matter how urgent or unexpected the deployment orders may be. If any of these things that I have mentioned throws up a red flag for you, be sure to be careful while looking for your next car.
If you come across any suspicious ads on Military Car Lot, be sure to report them to us immediately. We actively review each ad posted and any accounts with a high degree of suspicion are suspended. Nevertheless, there is always the possibility of suspicious accounts that we haven’t come across. We aim to keep this site a safe place for the military community and there is no tolerance for scammers selling used cars at Military Car Lot.