Vehicle sale and title scam

A ring of scammers is running ads around the country for vehicles with impossibly low prices to attract buyers, only to hit them up for a 20% “title clearing fee”. A police department in South Dakota is warning residents in the jurisdiction to avoid such scams.

As always, Consumers Title Resources advises consumers to never purchase a vehicle unless the seller has a valid verifiable title that they hand over to you at the time of purchase, and will provide an ID to match the name on the title.


Vehicle export title problems

The US Customs and Border Patrol screen export vehicles for fraudulent activity. Prior to exporting a vehicle be sure to have all legal documentation correctly prepared. Vehicles are checked for being stolen, first payment default, or other restrictions.

Legitimate exporters are knowledgeable on the proper procedure for preparing vehicle titles for exporting a vehicle. enforcement team at the ports have 700 to 1,200 vehicle titles reviewed each day to ensure compliance with U.S. export laws and regulations. The agency’s automated targeting system uses anomaly detection to sort through vast amounts of cargo information to flag suspicious shipments.

“At the port, criminals may take a chance and simply smuggle the vehicles by misrepresenting the containers’ contents on the export declaration. Otherwise, they generate fake documents to convince Customs that the vehicles have been paid off and are eligible for export.

Scammers often scan a paper title on which the lender has marked that a lien was satisfied and use software to alter the bank, owner, VIN, address and other information before submitting it to a state division of motor vehicles to have the lien removed from the records.”


Forged salvage title scam

A team of title fraudsters was arrested for forging titles in Alabama.  The people are each charged with first-degree theft by deception, possession of a forged or altered title, and deceptive business practices. The scheme was to buy salvage title cars and to pass them off as clean titles.

blogscam1114The victim discovered that the vehicle identification number search revealed a salvage title history. The vehicle had been in an accident in Mississippi and was declared a total loss before the they had purchased it.

Investigators say they quickly discovered a pattern with the Shvetses in the sale of many vehicles and believe there are many other victims who may be unknowingly driving a total loss vehicle purchased from them.