AutoTrader.com, continues to raise consumer awareness of fraudulent activity on the Internet.
The company has updated the fraud tips highlighted on its homepage to include information on the suspected influx of flood damaged vehicles into the used car market. Consumer awareness about the potential dangers associated with these vehicles and how to spot them is reportedly the key to keeping them from being purchased unknowingly.
It’s estimated that over half a million cars were flooded and damaged as a result of the hurricanes in fall of 2005 and many may be making their way into the used car market all over the U.S. and sold without being titled properly. Impacted vehicles may have been submerged in salt water, covered in mud, and contaminated with toxic chemicals.
Consumers can take simple steps when buying used cars: schedule an inspection with a certified mechanic, obtain a vehicle history report from a national provider such as CARFAX, verify the title with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, and check the VIN in the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s database.
In addition to the beefed up online tips, AutoTrader.com has created a toll-free fraud hotline – 877-742-8040 – for consumers to call and report suspicious activity as well as extended Customer Support hours for even better service. Consumers can continue to send e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the hotline. The fraud hotline is open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, Monday through Saturday.
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