What are the scams to avoid when selling a car?

It’s very unfortunate to become a victim of a scam during the process of selling a car. Nobody expects it to happen yet scams are very common and can be avoided if you pay attention to minute things.When you advertise your car on, we want you to have safe sale transactions and a worthy experience. Please read the following details and beware of the common scams identifying which you can elude potential financial losses.


Not all buyers may have an intention of buying your car ethically; some might be plotting schemes to swindle you out of your car. Let’s find out the common scams that scammers can perform by impersonating buyers.

Instant Purchase Offers

The buyers who seem to be in an unusual hurry to buy your car even without having an urge to see and test it once can be impostors. They might try to persuade you for the transaction by being ready to purchase it instantly and would do so with a bad check. They can also trick you with a false promise of wiring money later than the pickupof the car.

Fake Payments

Buyers can deceive you with fake payments via a bad check or counterfeit money orders. In this case, if you sign the title before the payment is cleared, the car will go off your hands as you will be transferring the ownership to the scammer.

Lure with Overpayment

Another common scam practice is to lure seller with the fake promise of paying more than the cost of the car – but later than now. A buyer might convince you to be agreeing on the receipt of the payment later because he/she is waiting for a payment from someone else who owes him/her money.

Giving this bogus cause, the person might intend to acquire your vehicle and then disappears at the time of payment.

Monthly Payment Commitment

The person can pay you some of the amounts initially and will acquire your car with a commitment to pay the rest of the cost in installments. It is unsafe to agree verbally with a monthly payment plan. Either avoid such kind of plan or document everything on papers. It is likely that person stops paying remaining installments. And getting the remaining cash from the person can be a thing next to impossible.

Payment through Escrow Service

The buyers can deceive you into making payment through a fake escrow service and leaving you waiting for the payment that actually never going to be made. You could possibly hand over your car to the fake person but the buyer might never be going to pay you.

The third party escrow service is given by certain financial bodies or banks, which is preferred during high-value purchase to ensure financial transparency at both the ends.

Misuse Personal Information

Some buyers can attempt identity theft by extracting personal information from you such as

  1. Bank Account Information
  2. Social Security Number
  3. Credit Card Number


Always be aware of the above-mentioned scams. Your alert mind can help you escape possible scams.

Always Verify Checks

It is advisable to verify checks with the issuing bank immediately after you received it. Don’t keep waiting to get it cleared with your bank. Make very sure that the funds are available in the buyer’s bank account.

Don’t ship Car Overseas until Payments Are Made

Ensure that you have got all the payments before you deliver the car out of state or country. Retrieval of the vehicle can be difficult from a far-flung place in case the buyer does not pay you.

Research on Escrow Service

If the seller puts pressure on you to receive payment through an escrow service, dive into the details of that escrow service. Escrow service is a safe payment option as long as it is reputable. Be sure of its identity. You can take help of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to validate the identity of the escrow service.

Document All The Transactions

Keep the copy of every document that you and the opposite party have signed. Also, maintain a record of all the phone numbers as these details may be helpful in case any fraudulent activity happens.

Check Driver’s License

During the test drive, you can check the person's driving license to determine who are the person is.

Avoid Money wiring and checks

Most scams take place on the payment optionssuch as money orders, or money wiring and bad checks. Sign a title only when you have cash in hand.

Don’t Reveal Personal Information

In case you give buyers your service records, don’t reveal personal and financial information. Block out any confidential details during all circumstances where you are showing up any records to the buyer.

If you come across an unfortunate situation where a buyer has deceived you, please report the incident to us and the local law enforcement.