Consumers warned against automobile scam

Consumers in the market for low auto insurance rates and affordable cars have one more thing they should pay attention to - con artists who could cost them thousands of dollars.

Consumers in the market for low auto insurance rates and affordable cars have one more thing they should pay attention to - con artists who could cost them thousands of dollars.

The Better Business Bureau recently advised people to be on guard against VIN cloning, which occurs when criminals replace the vehicle identification number from a stolen car with a number from another vehicle.

In its announcement, the BBB cited statistics showing that used car purchases increased 23 percent between April and May, while new car sales were down 34 percent. The consumer organization also cited statistics from Carfax showing that as many as 225,000 of the 1.5 million cars stolen every year could be subject to VIN cloning.

As used cars account for a greater market share, consumers are potentially more at risk for VIN cloning.

A spokesman for the BBB, Steve Cox warned consumers that if they are found to have even unknowingly purchased a stolen car, they will most likely not be able to get their money back if and when it is recovered by police.

With these things in mind, consumers are advised to be cautious if they see newer luxury cars or SUVs selling for far less than normal prices, and to closely examine a vehicle's registration and title, as well as other documents for errors and inaccuracies.

Learn how easy and convenient shopping for auto insurance can be. Get your free auto insurance quotes today!

Posted: July 22, 2009

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