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Investigating Auto Fraud

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Auto dealer fraud describes deceptive and unlawful practices used by automobile dealers, at almost any stage of the vehicle purchase process, from advertising, to negotiation of vehicle pricing and financing terms. Examples of auto dealer fraud include “bait and switch” advertising practices, deceptive inflation of vehicle prices, and failure to disclose information about a vehicle. Identifying auto fraud is tough, and proving it is even more difficult. When taking legal action for auto fraud the consumer must prove the dealer misrepresented or omitted material facts, the consumer suffered a financial loss and the consumer would not have bought the vehicle if they had known about the material facts at issue.

In addition, the consumer must be able to identify and prove the fraud in question. There are many clues that help to identify auto fraud, which require the consumer to do their own research, beginning with a physical inspection of the car. Evidence of a car’s history can sometimes be uncovered through documentation found on or in the car itself, such as stickers which document prior repairs, oil change or inspections. Buyers should also investigate their documents including the new title as well as repair documents. A car’s tires may also offer clues in uncovering a fraud. Tire match and age are an indication of a car’s true mileage and salvage history. Non-original or mismatched tires on a car with odometer readings under 30,000 miles are suspicious because such a vehicle should have the original tires and all tires should match.

A vehicles VIN also occasionally helps uncover fraud and is one of the easiest things to check. Any discrepancy between the VIN number found on the vehicle documents and the number printed on the car’s metal plate should raise suspicion. If the VIN numbers match, the VIN can still help with a consumers investigation because it specifies basic information regarding the vehicle including its year, make, model, engine size and place of manufacture. Odometer fraud is one of the more common types of auto fraud we see, luckily there are methods to identify odometer tampering. In some cases the odometer will begin to show strange readings which should make drivers suspicious. If the driver does not experience this, they have the option to check the odometer history with a franchised dealer. If a consumer believes they are a victim of inflation, they are able to us car pricing guides (Kelley Blue Books, Red Books, etc.)

At Darfoor Law Firm, we can help you navigate the law and protect your rights. We will review your case and provide professional legal options and any compensation you may be entitled. Contact Darfoor Law Firm at 1-833-DARFOOR for a free initial legal consultation to discuss your case.

For more information on investigating auto fraud, or if you have any comments or suggestions visit our twitter page. We look forward to hearing from you.

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