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Beware when buying a used car

Beware when buying a used car

By Karen Stiles. CREATED Jun 21, 2011

Are you thinking about buying a used car from a private seller?

Watch out.

There are a number of scams lately that have been harming people physically and financially. 

If you plan to buy a used car from a private seller, you need to do more than just doing a test drive and negotiating a good price.

You also need to be wary of who is selling the vehicle, where you will go to look at it, and how you will pay and take ownership.

Recently, a number of consumers have been hurt physically and financially by scam artists who advertised cars online and then robbed potential buyers in  person or via wire transfer.

If you plan to buy a car from a private seller, here is what you can do to stay safe:

In addition to checking out the car, check out the seller.

•    Make sure that you meet them face to face and that they are listed on the title. 

•    When checking out the vehicle, do not go alone.  Bring someone with you, and view and test drive the vehicle in a well lit, safe location.

•    Never wire money nor pay cash for a used car.  Use a form of payment that can be canceled if need be, such as a cashiers check.

•    Make sure to get the title for the vehicle at the time of purchase.

Keep in mind, the more that the car is demand, the greater your chance is for getting scammed.

Trust your gut instinct and run from offers that seem too good to be true.