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Beware of scams in Houston when buying a used car

Have you ever tried to buy or sell something online? The answer is probably yes. Well, as you may have learned, sometimes what people say they are selling and what you actually buy can be dramatically different things. Beware of Scams in Houston when buying a used car. There are also scammers lurking on the sidelines trying to make a quick buck, from you, from anyone and anywhere they can.

As time passes and technology continues to advance, it becomes easier and easier to partake in this internet phenomenon. Jobs exist today that didn’t 30 years ago, in the same way that selling cars is dramatically different than it was in the past. In the past few years, selling your car or buying for that matter has increased on the web. Said scammers post listings for non existent vehicles, people wire money, make deposits and you are a victim of a scam. This happens all over the world and it also happens in Houston, Texas USA.

Believe it or not a large percentage of fraud found online is in the auto industry. What we offer is a solution for you to outsmart the fraudulent few that are trying to take advantage of you, the consumer. Ha! Let them try, here is what to do to avoid falling victim to fraud.

1) Get information on the car itself
This translates into asking for a Carfax report, verifying the vin number and making sure that it belongs to the car in question. Ensuring that you will not be given a vin number for a Ford Explorer and have it belong to an Acura Integra. There are companies that provide free information regarding flood damage, etc. Also, ensure that besides the vin number pertaining to that car, model, year and color, that the license plate and registration match the person and state that is claiming to own it. Some people will post listings for vehicles that are non-existent, a deal that is too good just to get information from buyers. This happens all the time on Craigslist for example and also for apartment rentals.  They gather your information when you call and then try to sell you something else.

2) Breathe 
When you want to a car that is out of state and is being shipped – do your homework. Get the shippers number and confirm that your vehicle is indeed there, going to be there or there is some confirmation that it will be received. Something, because you need to secure your investment. Don’t let yourself be pressured to wire money or make a deposit in order to get your car shipped out. This may seem logical but you would be surprised how many people put their blind faith in someone over the phone, because they seemed genuine.  It’s not personal, it’s business and as a business person you should not pay for something you do not have.

3) Use your phone
If the person you are trying to purchase the vehicle from refuses to take your calls or is not available to talk, that should send up some red flags. Believe it or not, by speaking on the phone you can get information and a feel for the person with whom you are doing business. This accomplishes two things, it lets you know when you call that they are serious about this sale and are responsible because they take the time to answer any questions that you may have.  If you have ever had a job interview and at the end the interviewer asks you if you have any questions – your mind draws a blank.  Of course afterwards, you think of a million things you want and need to know.  The same happens when your emotions might be making the decisions for you, so having a number to call and ensure that all your questions get answered as soon as they arise is always best.

4) Check all the facts
There are times when sellers blur out the image on the license plate, this is done for two reasons. The first reason is to hide something, to be shady and to try and cover something up. The second would be because they are using an older photo that may have a blurred license plate for a past listing. Ask them to take a recent image of the car and to include the license plate. This way you can confirm that it is in the state that they say it is- It’s an exercise in trust. Also, it means nothing to show someone a picture of a car that is 4 years old when the car was brand new and have it not be representative of what the car looks like today.  Time can change things, just look at your picture from 4 years ago. See my point?  You need to ask if the images were taken recently to get the most current information.

5) Keep your money where it is
If the seller is legitimate, you will be asked to pay with a credit card, bank deposit, Paypal or what have you. If they ask for something to be done via Western Union or some sort of wire transfer that is not through the safety of your bank, it is the same as sending them cash. This is shadier and more doubtful that they are honest and may want to scam you out of your money.

What is most important is to remember that if someone wants to sell you a vehicle, you have the power, you are the buyer and you have the money that they want in exchange for the vehicle that they are selling you. You have to be smart about whom you do business with. In Houston as in other large cities there are people who give selling/buying a car online a bad wrap. Why not sell your car with people who will not scam you? A company that will be honest and real and will be as honest with you as you are with Them?  Welcome to Carsnappy.com – we are different, we offer you a chance to have faith in selling  your used car for cash in Houston, Texas.  We are here, just for you!


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