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  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cars, , , ,   

    Used car scams continue to find victims 

    Used car scams continue to find victims

    Even with many of us traveling less frequently than we used to, there are still those in the market for a vehicle. While many scammers may have rejected used-car scams in favor of scams more favorable to current crises, that doesn’t mean that used car scams aren’t still being pulled. It even seems that used car scams have been on a recent uptick all around the country.

    These scams can even affect seasoned professionals like a used car dealer. One man from Arkansas found some vehicles online that he wanted to have for his lot. The vehicles were for sale in St. Louis. The seller supposedly had the titles and the vehicle history reports showed the vehicles as being legitimate. However, after the car dealer sold those vehicles to other lots, they came back as stolen. It seems that sometimes police reports can take weeks or months to process which will delay such discrepancies from showing up on vehicle histories like CarFax. In a case like this, it’s recommended that you match the seller’s driver’s license information with the name on the title.

    In Texas, a man found a truck for sale on a social media marketplace. The seller of the truck claimed to be from Montana and was not only selling the truck at a bargain price because her husband died but that she was also deploying with the military. The seller then said that the vehicle would be delivered by eBay even though that’s not where the vehicle was being sold. All the buyer would have to do is send the seller eBay gift cards. This particular scam sends up a number of red flags. When a seller claims either a death in the family or military deployment as wanting to get rid of the vehicle there’s a good chance the sale could be a scam. This scammer put both of those stories out. Also, eBay may be a platform to sell vehicles but they do not ship them. Lastly, gift cards should never be used in a purchase like this as they are virtually untraceable once they land in the hands of scammers.

    Lastly in New Mexico, a woman fell for a similar scam. She had also found a car she needed on a social media marketplace. Her seller told her that her son just died and was also being shipped by eBay. Again, eBay gift cards were requested as payment. Once she sent the $1400 in gift cards the seller disappeared.

    You can never be too careful when shopping for a used car. However, if you keep some of these tips in mind they could go a long way in helping you avoid a scam.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 18, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cars, , , , , ,   

    Scammers are still using COVID in car scam 

    Scammers are still using COVID in car scam

    Even though some restrictions have been lifted, scammers are still using the current COVID-19 pandemic to their advantage. In the case of used car sales, they’re using it as an excuse to either not show the car or to not allow you to take a test drive.

    For example, a mother was recently looking for a car so she could shop for groceries and take her kids to the doctor. She was shopping for cars on craigslist. She says that she found a used 2008 Honda in her price range for $1200. Unbeknown to the mother of two, the red flags started almost immediately.

    First, the seller said that they were looking to sell the car as soon as possible because her son had passed away. The seller then added that they didn’t want to do any in-person transactions because of COVID-19.

    The woman was then instructed to go to a website that purported to be eBay Motors. The website instructed the woman to buy the car’s price in eBay gift cards to purchase the vehicle. The woman bought the $1200 in gift cards and gave the card numbers to the seller.

    As you might have already guessed, the seller made off with the woman’s money and the car never existed and the eBay Motors website was a phony website that was specifically designed for the scam.

    The red flags are easy to spot if you know what to look for. The first red flag was that the car was priced well below market value. This is how scammers lure you in at first. Then the scammer had a sob story as to why they were selling the car so cheaply. This often involves a story about a death, an illness, or someone shipping off to the military but it can take almost any form. This is used to tug on the buyer’s heartstrings to lull them further into a false sense of security.

    The use of COVID-19 in the scam is a believable cover as to why the buyer can’t see the car before purchase.

    Another common red flag was the use of eBay Motors. If you find a car on one platform and the seller directs you to eBay Motors saying that eBay are handling the shipping then it’s more than likely a scam. eBay Motors does not do any shipping of vehicles.

    Lastly, the final red flag was the use of gift cards as payment. Gift cards can be drained of their funds almost immediately with the scammers disappearing with the money.

    Hopefully, now you’re forewarned with knowledge on how to recognize such a scam so you don’t lose your money.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 2, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cars, HLDI, stolen cars   

    Will your car be stolen? 

    Will your car be stolen?

    The Highway Loss Data Institute recently released its list of the most stolen cars in America for the model years of 2016-2018. Dodges top the list as the Charger Hemi and the Challenger SRT top the list which is not surprising considering muscle cars are always a hot target of thieves. The Infiniti Q Series is next on the list due to their luxury features. The rest of the list seems to be packed with pickup trucks from all the major brands as the high cost of more modern trucks make them very lucrative for thieves.

    The HLDI also released the least stolen cars in America for the same model years and it seems that electric-powered vehicles are among the least stolen. Tesla Models S and X sit at numbers 2 and 3 on the list as Teslas are more often than not are in well-lit areas close to buildings where they need to be charged. The BMW 3 Series is the least stolen as it only had one reported theft for insured vehicles.

    After these cars are stolen they are often either sold for parts or illegally shipped to foreign countries where these models may not be widely available. A number of these cars are being stolen because car owners are said to be leaving their wireless keyfobs in the car which allows thieves to start some of these vehicles since they have keyless ignitions. If you own one of the most stolen vehicles, it could end up costing you even more in insurance premiums. A copy of HLDI’s lists of most and least stolen cars can be found here.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , cars, , , , , ,   

    OfferUp user assaulted outside of police station, BBB warns of car scam, and Amazon’s board to vote on facial recognition 

    OfferUp user assaulted outside of police station, BBB warns of car scam, and Amazon's board to vote on facial recognition

    As we always say, when meeting someone for an online transaction you should always make the transaction at a local police department. It can go a long way in helping to ensure your safety. However, that was not the case for a man in Albuquerque. This man was meeting someone through OfferUp to sell a camera. The suspect posing as a buyer lured the man out of the view of the police department’s security cameras before trying to rob the man. The victim was dragged about 20 feet after the suspect drove off while holding on to the camera. If someone tries to get you away from the police station it may just be a trap.

    ***

    The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota is warning residents of the two states to be aware of phony car scams that are proliferating in the area. They’re reporting that there are a number of phony car dealerships who are advertising cars on craigslist for a price well below market value. The phony dealerships then ask for the money to be wired to them before cutting off all contact with the victim. When buying a car online from a dealership, always do a web search to make sure such a dealership exists and money should never be wired for a transaction under any circumstance. It’s too easy for scammers to make off with your money while remaining anonymous.

    ***

    Previously, we’ve discussed how high-ranking Amazon employees have called Amazon’s environmental practices into question. Now it seems that shareholders are also getting ready to decide on another one of Amazon’s business practices. Next month the board will vote on whether or not Amazon should ban the sale of their facial recognition software called Rekognition to governments and governmental agencies. We’ve posted before about how a number of civil liberty groups complained about Amazon trying to sell Rekognition to police departments as the tool could be easily used to violate civil rights. Combine Rekognition with all the Amazon Echoes in people’s homes and Jeff Bezos’ ownership in the Washington Post and you could see how some board members may view this all as a privacy overreach on Amazon’s part.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cars, , , , , , ,   

    Craigslist to start charging $5 for cars, Kids in Ubers and Lyfts, and no trafficking in Robert Kraft case 

    Craigslist to start charging $5 for cars, Kids in Ubers and Lyfts, and no trafficking in Robert Kraft case

    What a $5 car may look like

    As of today, craigslist will start charging $5 for car listings. So as of tax day if you’re selling your car on craigslist it will cost you a fiver. While craigslist has not publicly stated the reason for the change, many speculate that the move will cut down on scam listings. It will be interesting to see if craigslist users will balk at the new fee and if scammers will be willing to pay the fee. Not to mention that it’s almost ironic that craigslist is now starting to act like so many newspaper classifieds that they helped close down.

    ***

    KATU in Portland, Oregon is reporting on a new safety concern when it comes to using ridesharing services like Lyft and Uber. Their investigation found that many minors are using the ridesharing services even though their terms of service require a passenger to be at least 18. Some drivers will refuse the fare if they know the passenger is under 18, however, there are many drivers who either don’t know the rules or don’t care. According to KATU, some parents are even ok with their older kids using an Uber or Lyft. If you’re a parent, would you be ok with letting your kid use an Uber or Lyft alone?

    ***

    Lastly for today, it was recently reported that the investigation that allegedly caught New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft using a massage parlor did not find any evidence of human trafficking. Critics have dismissed this investigation as a witch hunt of sorts and that police were just looking to arrest workers and johns. However, in many cases, those being trafficked are unwilling to testify against their traffickers due to fears of reprisal or threats of violence against their families. To refer to human trafficking as an overblown problem is to dismiss the safety and welfare of all those being trafficked against their will who are treated as slaves.

     
  • Geebo 10:59 am on February 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cars, , vending machine   

    Would you buy a car from a vending machine? 

    Would you buy a car from a vending machine?

    Are you the kind of person who hates to shop for a car? Do you hate having to deal with salespeople who you know are trying to rip you off just to make a big commission? Do you wish you could just press the buttons of E and 5 and have the car of your choice of produced magically in front of you? Well now you can.

    AN online car dealership has opened what they call a car vending machine in Austin, Texas. The structure is a five-story tall glass structure that houses 30 cars. However the term vending machine is a bit of a misnomer. You still have to finance and make your actual selection through the dealership’s website, however when you go to pick up your vehicle they give a giant novelty coin to put in the machine to get your car.

    Thankfully, it’s not like an actual vending machine. Could you imagine having to lug $30,000 or more in quarters only to find out that you’re a few dollars short. Then you take out the crumpled bills in your pocket and try to straighten them out against the change machine only to have your selection of vehicle get stuck in the machine that has a sign that says ‘no refunds’? That would actually be worse than dealing with a sales person.

     
  • Geebo 1:07 pm on December 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: car theft, cars, grand theft auto, ,   

    New device could make anyone a car thief 

    New device could make anyone a car thief

    Before cars became mostly electronic and computerized it took a skilled thief to steal or break into a locked car. Only a select few had the talent to be able to pick the lock or use a slim jim to gain access to the inside of a car without breaking the window. Then if they wanted to steal the car, in most case they had a tool that would pull off the ignition and they’d be able to start the car with a screwdriver. Now, the more electronic a car becomes the more points of failure it has when it comes to auto theft.

    If you have a car that either opens the car or can be started remotely there’s a pretty big chance that it could be stolen by just about anybody. Investigative reports have determined that there is a device used among thieves that relies heavily on your cars wireless remote features. For example if you lock your car using the wireless key fob that came with it, this new device can clone the wireless frequency your car uses then replicate it to gain access to your car’s doors and ignition.

    So outside of buying a car that predates these electronics what can you do to protect your car from being stolen this way? While many of these cars use sophisticated electronics many of them still use old-fashioned keys. Rely more on the physical keys themselves when locking or unlocking the car and the criminals have a less of a chance of cloning your signal.

    The odds that this device will be used around your car are slim but it’s better to be prepared than to have to deal with an insurance company over stolen car.

     
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