Watch out for scams when car shopping online

As if there aren’t already enough opportunities for people to lose money when car shopping, I have recently received numerous inquiries from consumers seeking advice on how to purchase “out-of-state cars” they’ve found on craigslist or backpage. The prices of the cars in question have been priced well below fair market values, drawing the buyer in. After responding to these ads, the consumer is asked for their name, address, and phone number with a claim that the seller is participating in the “Amazon vehicle protection program” or the “Ebay vehicle protection program.” There are no such programs. The seller also typically claims to have some off-shore occupation, just lost a job and needs money quickly, or is a soldier stationed in another country. THIS IS A SCAM.

These imposters have successfully stolen thousands of dollars from people who believed they had found a “great car buy.” Do not send any information to these people, and report the postings to the website admin as soon as you discover it. — Kevin Hunter, Elk River