This weeks blog focuses on an area that most people can relate to-Online Purchases and Scams to avoid. If you have ever purchased anything online, or have scoured the craigslist ads for that “great deal”, then this post is for you!
An elderly couple came to us recently. They fell victim to a car buying scam through craigslist. They didn’t have much to go on…a fake name, and a salvaged car that they were unable to register. The scam is called “title skipping” and it creates a whole slew of issues for the unsuspecting buyer.
Title Skipping is the act of buying a car, and selling it without putting in into their own name to avoid paying the sales tax and registration fees. Often times the vehicle purchased also has extensive damage and would be ruled as salvaged by the insurance company. The damage is repaired and the next unsuspecting buyer believes the title is clean, but in reality it is salvaged. The buyer only learns of this when they attempt to register the car with Department of Motor Vehicles – as Carfax and other vin service reports would not yet have this “salvaged title” information. This act is illegal! In this situation, it is also elder abuse since the victims are over age 65. In California this is an additional crime. It is unfortunate in today’s world that people prey on the elderly as well as the young.
Do your diligence when making any purchase and scrutinize online purchases even more so than others. But if you do fall victim to these scammers, call us and we will help bring justice to your situation. Through surveillance and good old fashion investigative work, we have identified the suspect and have documented their crimes. This particular crime is also related to an automotive repair facility. This case will be handed over to law enforcement for prosecution and the elderly couple will be able to recover their losses.
-If you suspect that you or a loved one are the victims of a scam, reach out to us and schedule your free consultation!