Car scams that you should know about

Ford CarNone of us want to be taken advantage of.

We’re all constantly on the look out for those deals that seem too good to be true. A lot of us assume that there are plenty of people out there trying to scam us out of our money and belongings. But many of us aren’t aware that there is a whole industry of scamming that orientates entirely around your car. There are people that rely on the worth of your car and its contents in order to make money from you. Here are some of the more common ways that individual scammers and cheating businesses will try to scam you out of what is rightfully yours.

Car As Credit

This one isn’t necessarily an organised scam, but it can still hurt you all the same. There are loads of people out there who will sell you on a car that has been borrowed against. This means that if they default on their loan, the car can be reclaimed from you to shore up the loan. This is regardless of if they are still technically the owner of the car, as the loan is tied to the vehicle.

You should make sure that you do some background checks on any car that you buy outside of an established dealership. One of the best ways to avoid situations such as this is to buy vehicles from trustworthy dealers, such as Whether you’re leasing or outright buying, you’ll have peace of mind from the fact that they do thorough background checks on their cars.

Be particularly wary of people looking for a quick sale in cash. Some of these people are looking to get double the money out of their car in order to cover their loan. They will sell it to you, paying off some of their loan with your hard-earned cash. Then they will allow the car to be repossessed from you, which will significantly reduce their loan further.

Parking ticketParking Tickets

In the course of our lifetimes, many of us will receive a great number of parking tickets. Most of these will be from authoritative sources. Maybe a local council caught you parking in a resident’s spot, or maybe you’re blocking a fire exit by accident. But a lot of these tickets will be illegally issued by predatory companies.

There are loads of companies out there that issue parking tickets because they want a quick and easy payout from you. Whether you’ve been clamped or not, you should be doing some reading around the company to check if other people have had a hard time with them. Maybe they are working over the neighbourhood, trying to make as much cash as they can. Maybe someone took them to court and didn’t have to pay through the nose as a result.

Have a read around to find out what your rights are, and make sure that you keep a record of everything. Many of the people and companies that do this are opportunists. That means that they will try to make money as long as it’s no hassle. If you make them work for it then there is often a big chance that they will give up on you and move on to someone else.

Fake Stops

You should know that when people target you or your car they are also looking to make cash from whatever you have inside. One of the easiest and most cheeky ways that people achieve this is through the use of high vis jackets, and unofficial stops. If you’re just coming off a ferry or crossing a border then you may be stopped by official customs. What you should look out for are stops further down the road without any mention of being tied to official operations.

These individuals are trying to stop you under the guise of customs officials. The hope is to use the air of authority and your lack of understanding when it comes to knowing what you can and can’t bring with you when you cross a border. Using these two things they may say that certain parts of your luggage will need to be seized by customs until further notice. Do yourself a favour, and don’t fall for something as obvious as this. Call their official counterparts and find out as much about them before you open your car. If customs or the police are undertaking an operation then someone on the other end of the phone will be able to tell you what and where it is.

Chop Shop

This is another one that is to do with buying and selling a vehicle. The rule is generally that if something looks too good to be true then it probably is. If you’re looking into buying a new car and someone is offering it to you at below market value then you should know that something is up. If you turn up and they are trying to push you to buy the car as soon as possible and in cash, then you know that something is probably not right.

It could be that they bought the car, changed a few of the key features to make in unrecognisable, and now they are trying to sell it one before anybody notices. Don’t fall for anything like this. Be aware that when you buy in cash you are essentially waving goodbye to your money, so you had better be happy with what you have purchased. If the police come around and seize your vehicle then you will wish that you had been more sensible.


The key in all of these circumstances is to not get carried away in the moment. Whether you’re buying a new car or dealing with a ticket, scammers rely on you getting worked up and making irrational decisions. Don’t give them the pleasure of ruining your day, and always make sure to think through any decision you make thoroughly. Finally, remember that the police exist for a reason and don’t be afraid to involve them if it seems as though something is afoot.

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