Be aware of these signs of odometer fraud

On Behalf of | Feb 4, 2021 | Consumer Protection |

When you purchase a new or used car, you probably do not think much about odometer fraud. It is easy to take the seller’s promise at face value when checking the miles on a car. 

Unfortunately, odometer fraud happens more than you might guess. Be aware of these signs to prevent yourself from becoming a victim. 

Does the deal seem too good to be true?

According to FindLaw experts, some scammers roll back the odometer to get a higher price for cars than they otherwise would be able to. Cars sold on sites like Craigslist or eBay can be particularly susceptible to this trick. A good way to avoid falling for an odometer scam is to ask yourself if the deal seems too good to be true. 

For example, if you find a classic car that has unrealistically low miles, this may indicate that someone tampered with the odometer. 

Is the seller offering you an odometer disclosure?

Odometer fraud is a federal offense with severe penalties. If you are considering buying a vehicle from a private party and he or she refuses to give you an odometer disclosure, this is certainly a red flag. Odometer statements are a legal requirement of selling vehicles. 

Is the seller unwilling to let you have your mechanic look at the vehicle?

If something seems off about the condition of the car in conjunction with the mileage, you may want to have your own mechanic look at the vehicle before you buy it. If the seller is not willing to let your mechanic look at the car you may take this as a warning sign. Most sellers understand that having a mechanic verify the condition of the vehicle is a normal part of the sales process. 

Keeping these tips in mind may help prevent you from experiencing this type of consumer fraud.