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DAS fights auto transport scams

Subscribe May 23, 2018
Fraud and scam prevention

We’ve written about this subject in the past, but unfortunately, online scams are happening way too frequently. These criminals are technically savvy and know what they’re doing. At DAS, we want to make sure consumers are educated to protect themselves when shopping online.

As one of the largest vehicle relocation companies in the U.S., we receive calls on a daily basis from consumers who’ve been scammed out of thousands of dollars by criminals who told them the car they just purchased will be shipped with DAS or CarsArrive. Unfortunately, there really is no car, and it certainly isn’t being stored at or shipped by DAS or CarsArrive. By the time we receive these calls, the money is gone with little to no recourse.

This is how it usually works… A consumer spots a great deal on a vehicle, usually on eBay or Craigslist, reading something like this, “My husband died in Iraq. $20,000 SUV on sale for $4,800 because I can’t stand the memories. Here are pictures. It’s being stored by DAS Auto Shippers at their Gardena, CA terminal. Wire money here and I’ll ship it to you.”

The sad thing is every month we still receive approximately 200 calls from Internet auto fraud victims. There is nothing we can do to prevent the criminals from using our name. They pick a well known business, duplicate the website and tell the consumer the car is being shipped or stored. We only find out when they call us to arrange pick up of the vehicle. Unfortunately, the victims have already wired the cash to the crook!

So, please be careful out there when you’re shopping online. It doesn’t happen only in the vehicle industry. Good news is that these crooks are paranoid about getting caught. So if a smart buyer starts asking a lot of questions, they will typically end all communication. Here are some tips to help filter out a possible scam:

  • Do not ever wire money, no matter what, ever – no legitimate car dealer or individual owner should require a wire transfer.

  • Validate the source - pick up the phone and call the auto dealer to get some information on their background and history. Anyone can build a legitimate looking website, but if an auto dealer isn’t willing to spend time with you on the phone to close a sale, that should be your first hint.

  • Always ask for the CARFAX report to gather details on the vehicle’s history.

  • Ask the seller to Facetime while at the car to prove they have access to it. While Facetiming, ask them to unlock it, start it and show you the dashboard VIN plate. If they are unable to Facetime, ask that they take photos of the vehicle along with a current/dated newspaper.  

And, if you need to ship a car with DAS, call us directly. We will work with you to create the most efficient service for your needs and provide all the necessary documentation to know your car will arrive at its new location safely and securely.

Testimonials

No issues to report, service was dependable and reliable. Our car was available before the scheduled date! Very much appreciated!
T. Rosenthal
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