BBB warns of scammers targeting online used car sellers

Posted at 12:25 AM, Nov 13, 2018

DENVER -- It's that time of year when the scammers are looking for ways to make a quick buck. Contact 7 has a new warning for people trying to sell their cars online.

When the phone numbers worked and the websites looked legitimate at first glance, Caleb Carey thought selling his 2014 F150 truck would be an easy transaction.

"I posted on Craigslist and CarGurus and Autotrader," said Carey.

An interested buyer contacted Carey almost immediately. There was just one thing: the prospective buyer wanted a vehicle history report — a normal request when purchasing or selling used vehicles.

"I was like, 'can I just do a Carfax?' And the guy's like, 'yeah, this one's just cheaper.' I was like, 'OK, if this one’s cheaper,'" said Carey.

Just $18.95 if you use So Carey purchased the report, but when it was time to meet in person to complete the sale, he was stood up, he told Contact7.

"He didn't answer my call or my text. He called me back four hours after with some elaborate excuse about his brother in the hospital. I kind of realized then something's fishy here," said Carey.

Contact7’s partners at the Better Business Bureau said they see this scam often during the holidays.

And it proved too good to be true for Aaron Schlechter, a Westminster man trying to sell his Toyota Prius online.

"I was contacted by this one person who made me a very good offer," said Schlechter.

It would be a done deal, he was told, as long as he purchased a vehicle report on, because the lender required it.

So he did, and it turned out be the same story: the buyer disappeared.

"I just said oh man this has gotta be a scam," said Schlechter.

The BBB wants these stories to be a reminder to do your homework and trust the established businesses on their websites, so the same thing doesn’t happen to you.