BBB warns of recent used car scam

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – With used cars in high demand, the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau says scammers have found a new way to trick online shoppers, experts said.

Experts say scammers will offer the car cheaply online and tell potential buyers it’s in another state. Then the scammers will say they know of a transport company that will bring the car to the buyer and usually ask the customer to pay by wire transfer or prepaid gift card.

“Drive-through scammers really like wire transfers because they’re untraceable and once you’ve sent the money it’s gone. You usually can’t get it back,” said BBB Southwest Regional Manager Tiffany Bernhardt Shultz. “If someone asks you to pay by bank transfer or prepaid gift card, it’s probably a scam.”

Shultz also said buyers should be wary of deals that sound too good to be true. She said scammers will find great photos of a car, list it at a bargain price, and shoot buyers’ hearts to convince them to hurry up and close the deal.

“It’s always a good idea to do an internet search too: just go to your browser, type in the retailer and follow it up with the words scam, complaints, rating and customer reviews,” Shultz added.

Here are some other tips Shultz gave when buying a vehicle online:

  • See the car in person to make sure the car actually exists
  • Do your homework: take your time when buying a car and quote your local dealerships
  • Research the seller on BBB.org
  • Remember: if a price seems too good to be true, it usually is.

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