Craigslist South Florida Used Cars By Owner

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Craigslist South Florida Used Cars By Owner

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How To Avoid Curbstoning While Buying A Used Car

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Both used car dealers and online sellers tend to get a bad rap, and the same goes for people who sell cars online.

Craigslist has a local feel, but that doesn’t mean everyone who posts a car for sale acts like a neighbor. While most genuine people want to sell their cars one-on-one and not trade them in, there are scammers who will get your money for a car that doesn’t exist or is in bad shape. sell a car

“Consumers have been victims of vehicle fraud since the Henry Ford store opened,” Donald E. Patterson, a Florida consumer protection attorney who specializes in fraud cases, told Business Insider.

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We asked consumer protection experts about the biggest scams people should watch out for when buying a car on Craigslist, and here’s what they said.

This is one of the biggest things to look for in Craigslist postings: a car that doesn’t actually exist. Scammers copy and paste images from original posts and then create fake listings in dozens of cities.

Be wary of a salesperson who doesn’t want to see you in person, and don’t spend money on a car you’ve never seen. Better Business Bureau communications director Kathryn Hutt told Business Insider that she’s seen similar photos on dozens of sites across the country. “Does anyone know where the original car was?” he said “The scammer used the same picture with multiple victims.”

To determine if the car you see is real, BBB recommends copying a photo from the listing and doing a Google image search. If a car shows up on multiple sites in multiple cities, you can bet it’s fake.

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The same goes for the text: fraudsters don’t always want to create a completely new entry for each car. Enter a piece of Craigslist description in quotes into Google and see what other listings use the same words.

While there is nothing illegal about selling a car to an individual instead of going through a dealer, people who sell a certain number of cars per year (the number varies by state) must be licensed. Those who do not and individual sellers are known as curbside sellers.

It’s probably because they try to follow the rules that licensed dealers have to follow, like a money back guarantee if the car goes limo. And curbside vendors “are often transient or at least hard to find,” Patterson said.

If something goes wrong, it will be difficult for you and the authorities to track down the curbside seller.

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Unless you have a mechanical understanding of cars, your untrained eye might not notice that high-end parts have been replaced with subcompact pieces or airbags are missing.

Your mechanic will tell you if there’s anything wrong with the car, so ask the dealer to have a trusted auto expert—not someone the dealer hired—look it over before committing.

Read more: Up to 100 luxury cars missing or stolen, Daimler and BMW car-sharing service allegedly hacked in Chicago

“If the dealer won’t let you take it to a mechanic before you buy, go somewhere else,” Patterson said.

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Many sellers deal with customer pressure, and it gets personal on Craigslist. Scammers tug at your heartstrings to trick you into making a rash decision based on a fake story.

They may say they are being drafted by the military or claim they lost their job and can’t pay their rent without selling their car.

“Fraudsters often have a hard-luck story to play on your sympathy,” says Hutt. “They encourage you to pay quickly because of the urgency, before you think twice or get someone else’s advice.”

In fake letters, the scammers know that the buyer’s alarm bells will go off when they ask for $20,000 up front, so they can get it a little faster. They often claim that the car is in high demand, so they can’t guarantee a below-average price if you don’t pay.

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“Scammers will ask for a small amount rather than all at once,” says Hutt. “First is the deposit, then the payment, then the transfer.”

Next thing you know, you’ve made a huge change to the car that you’ll never see again.

Escrow sites are designed to protect you as a consumer. You pay the third-party site instead of sending it directly to the seller, and if something goes wrong, the escrow escrow returns your money to you — not the scammer.

But scammers know online sellers are looking for this kind of protection, so they trick you into thinking you’re signing a secure contract by stealing an existing escrow site or creating your own.

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Don’t automatically trust an escrow site that a seller recommends. BBB recommends doing your own site research and trusting only state-licensed escrow services.

Reversing the odometer is one of the oldest tricks in the books. A car’s mileage is a good indicator of how much it’s worn, so dropping a mile or two (or 10,000) can make buyers think they have a practically new car. .

According to the US Federal Highway Administration, the average driver puts about 13,000 miles on their car each year, so if a five-year-old car only has 15,000 miles on it, that could be a clue that the mileage isn’t up to scratch. Not accurate

Of course, some people actually drive less—teenagers and older people drive fewer than 8,000 vehicles a year, for example—so compare the odometer reading to other car characteristics, the BBB advises. You shouldn’t be looking at a supposedly barely driven tire and a loved interior.

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Even if the car appears to be in good condition, there may be damage from an old accident or flood that the seller is deliberately trying to hide. Be suspicious even if the owner gives you a copy of the car’s history report – the seller may have falsified it to clean up their history.

Instead, ask for the vehicle identification number or VIN and set it up yourself through a trusted third party like Carfax, but be aware that even that information can be lost because “public records are so unreliable,” Patterson said.

“I recommend that consumers check the VIN number on the vehicle in several places to be sure to identify vehicles that have undergone major repairs or even been stolen,” he said.

“The most common problem that consumers describe to me is that they bought a used car in response to an ad on Craigslist, and the seller let them test drive around the block in the area. This could be interpreted as the speed limits being very low,” Patterson said.

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You can’t tell how a car actually drives and whether it’s been properly maintained until you find a more realistic driving scenario, he says. Ask for a long test drive; A seller who refuses may have something to hide. The most common car sales scam I’ve heard of is called curb lifting because the deal is often done on the “curb” in front of the residence. Here’s a false sense of security, how it works — and what to watch for, especially after Harvey and Irma.

If you or I are selling a car from our home, we can meet potential buyers on the street and show them the car. A simple transaction is very different from the buyer-seller experience people encounter at a car dealership. People let themselves down by simply kicking the tires in someone’s yard or driveway.

Some unscrupulous sellers take advantage of this and deliberately steer their sales toward such an arrangement. For example, a car dealer who has trouble moving a car from his car in a bad neighborhood might advertise the car on Craigslist and provide a cell phone number to call. When a potential buyer calls, the seller tells the seller to meet in front of his house

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