Because there is no foolproof way to prevent fraud, awareness is the best defense.
Buying a car:
Know the car’s market value- Be suspicious of a vehicle priced significantly below market value. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Obtain a vehicle history report- A vehicle history report can provide useful information, such as who holds the title to the car and whether the car has been in an accident reported to authorities. You’ll also find out whether the car was ever reported stolen, salvaged or damaged.
Inspect the car- Schedule an inspection with a professional mechanic or an inspection service if the car is not in your area. An early inspection can help you identify problems. However, keep in mind that an inspection isn’t a warranty and won’t guarantee a car is free from defects or that inspectors have identified all existing problems.
Confirm contact information– Before you send payment, verify the seller’s street address and phone number- an email address is not enough. ZIP codes, area codes and addresses should match up. Be wary if the seller is located overseas.
Use email wisely- Avoid sending sensitive personal or financial information (such as your social security number, credit card number or checking account number) to a seller via email. Remember that email communications are not secure and can be easily forwarded to others.
Get a detailed receipt- Ask the seller for a receipt that states whether the vehicle is being sold with a warranty or “as is.”
Get title to the vehicle– Make sure you know what’s required in your state to transfer title to the vehicle you’re buying.
Confirm contact information– Be particularly wary of buyers willing to purchase your car sight-unseen, especially buyers located overseas. Always verify the buyer’s street address and phone number.
Selling a car:
Use PaySAFE for a secure and safe financial transaction – Some people knowingly try to write bad checks for a used car. If someone has enough money in their checking account to buy the car, they can go to the bank and withdraw the cash.
Beware of buyer overpayment– This most often happens when the buyer isn’t located in your local area, and wants to purchase a vehicle sight unseen. Often, you’ll get an offer for the vehicle, and the buyer will ask if they can send you a payment. Usually, they’ll ask if they can sent you a check for money over and above the cost of the vehicle. They’ll then ask you to wire them the extra money, and they’ll arrange for the pickup of the vehicle. It will turn out that their check is fraudulent, and you’re out that extra money that the buyer “paid.”
Get an accurate value of car– Some buyers will outright lie to you. They’ll claim that they have checked the “book value of a vehicle.” They might bring a mechanic along, who proceeds to tell them (and you) that there are terrible things wrong with the vehicle, and that it’s not worth as much. They might try to convince you that the transmission is about to go, or that the vehicle needs a new alternator. Whatever the issue, they’re really just trying to get you to sell the car for less. Don’t fall for these tactics; if they claim something is wrong with the vehicle, have your own mechanic check it out or use a valuation service like inspectmyride.com
There are those who want to harm you, and those that simply want to rip you off. Don’t fall victim to these predators. Use PaySAFE!
- PaySAFE will NEVER send you funding instructions via email. You can only access funding instructions through the website www.PaySAFEescrow.com while securely logged in.
- PaySAFE does NOT use Western Union or Moneygram.
- PaySAFE only communicates from email address ENDING with @paysafeescrow.com. Examples: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
- Call 1-402-881-7133 to speak with a live person to verify your questions.