Thursday, September 22, 2011

Avoid escrow scams when buying a cheap used car

There are a lots of scams to be on the look out for when you are buying a used car, making it advisable for people who are not particularly confident or experienced in this area to consider buying through a company such as, as they are able to undertake full background checks of all the private sellers and dealers who operate through them.

One of the most common scams involves setting up a fake, online escrow account. An escrow account is one in which a buyer can temporarily deposit their money until the deal has been completed and is intended to improve security for both buyer and seller by providing a neutral deposit account. The scam in this case involves the seller persuading the buyer to put the money into an escrow account suggested by them. This site will be designed to look completely convincing and legitimate, complete with contact details, but these will turn out to fake – making the seller impossible to trace and the buyer’s money impossible to find! Once you have fallen victim to such a scam, the only option available is to contact the police or the Trading Standards Authority.

Being asked to use an account suggested by the seller should automatically set alarm bells ringing in the mind of any buyer, even if the seller is an established used car dealer and the site seems genuine. This is where thorough background checks into the history of the seller are advisable, but difficult to accomplish for an individual buyer who is likely to have work and family commitments. Companies such as do such investigations into the sales history of those who use their site, on behalf of consumers, ensuring that both professional car dealers and individual sellers have no history of illegal behaviour.