Each year, thousands of people are victims of auto sale fraud in the United States. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center estimates that nearly 14,000 complaints were made from consumers that were victimized by online auto scams from 2008-2010 across the country. The total dollar amount added up to nearly $44.5 million in the same time period. And this number does not include those who fell victim to scams in person, either by a dealership or private individual.
Consumer Protection for Car Buyers
Buying a vehicle is an expensive transaction. When you add in financing, leasing, tax and title payments, down payments and trade-ins, it can become complicated quickly. Car salesmen want to make sure you feel like you are getting a good deal, but often that isn’t the case. If you feel like you have been the victim of an auto sale scam, contact the Atlanta consumer protection attorneys today.
Here are a few tips for avoiding auto sales fraud:
- Each year, millions of automobiles are damaged in crashes and floods. While insurance companies may deem these vehicles totaled, they often being fixed and sold at auction. You do not want to unknowingly purchase a totaled vehicle. Be sure to get the car inspected by a mechanic and body shop before you purchase the vehicle. It’s also important to check out the vehicle ID number (VIN) and get a vehicle history report.
- Avoid odometer fraud by comparing the odometer reading to the vehicle history report. You can also look at the maintenance and inspection records to see if the numbers make sense. If you have purchased a vehicle you believe has had the odometer tampered with, contact the Athens consumer protection attorneys at Hurt, Stolz & Cromwell, LLC today.
- Most car salesmen want to complete the deal as soon as possible. If someone seems too pushy and it makes you uncomfortable, it’s may be because the person selling you the car is intending on committing auto sale fraud. Often, they want you to take care of the transaction as quickly as possible, so you don’t have time to think about it and back out. If you feel uneasy about a transaction, trust your instincts and make sure you get the vehicle checked out before moving forward.
Unfortunately, auto sale scams are common in Georgia. If you feel like you have been a victim of auto sale fraud it is important to have someone who will fight for your rights. Georgia law protects consumers and an experienced consumer protection attorney can navigate the complex legal system and work hard to get a favorable outcome in your case.