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Fraud Awareness Tips

How To Detect Fraudulent Companies Protection

We feel it is important that you as the consumer are aware of fly-by-night operations and buyer scams in the automotive industry.   Here are some helpful tips to learn how to be a fraud-detector and have the ability to distinguish who is genuinely out to sell your vehicle or who is out to get your money.

SCAM ALERT 1: DON’T DO BUSINESS WITH A COMPANY YOU CANNOT REACH

If you are going to do business with a third party company, make sure you are doing business with people who you can reach. Whether it’s through the telephone, email or online chat; if there’s no way to get a hold of a live rep there’s a good chance that company doesn’t exist.

SCAM ALERT 2: DON’T SEND CASH IN THE MAIL

Don’t send cash to a third party company via mail. Instead use a credit card. All major credit cards offer the highest forms of security you can receive with purchasing intangible payments. See if the company accepts credit card and if so, verify that they use a security confirmation procedure to ensure consumer protection. Also make sure they send you your confirmation receipts promptly after payment.

SCAM ALERT 3: BE SAFE WHEN LETTING BUYERS TEST DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE

Write down the buyer’s drivers license before you let them test drive it. Ensure the number is at your home in a safe spot so if in case he/she gets in an accident during a test drive, you will be insured.

SCAM ALERT 4: NEVER GIVE THE KEYS BEFORE YOUR MONEY IS CLEARED IN YOUR BANK ACCOUNT

NEVER give someone the keys before the funds have cleared into your bank. If it is a check ensure the buyer goes with you to the bank. And after you have deposited your check through a face-to-face teller and the funds have CLEARED into your account, only then you may give the title and the keys to the buyer.

SCAM ALERT 5: DON’T PROVIDE ANYONE YOUR BANK ACCOUNT INFO

Do not ever provide your ACH or bank checking account information to anyone. This information is for you and never for you to share.

SCAM ALERT 6: GET A CARFAX REPORT

When buying a vehicle, we suggest you request a CarFax report to confirm that the vehicle isn’t a lemon or an overpriced piece of junk. Many sellers may state that the vehicle has not been any accidents when indeed its been in one or two. 

Because there is no foolproof way to prevent fraud, awareness is the best defense. Please review our tips below, and use your best judgment in all transactions. Help us stop fraud. If you receive a suspicious email or are the victim of a scam, email us described below and we will contact the appropriate law enforcement authorities right away.

step 1: if you are the victim of a scam, please email us  with as much information about your particular situation as possible.

step 2: forward any suspicious emails to us immediately at our support email don't change the subject line or send it as an attachment because doing so could prevent us from identifying trends and preventing similar scams. To speak directly to a fraud watch customer service representative, call us toll free (mon.-fri. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. pacific time).

step 3: we strongly recommend that you report fraud to local law enforcement as well. Excellence Auto Network investigates submitted reports in an effort to protect our customers against future fraud. We support law enforcement agencies in the prosecution of internet criminals and work diligently to prevent fraud.

WE DON'T OWN, BUY OR SELL VEHICLES LISTED ON OUR SITE.

Excellence Auto Network is an online vehicle listing service that connects car buyers with sellers. We are not a car dealer. Any listing information about a particular car comes directly from the seller--not from us.  If you receive an email that implies our uses our insignia we're buying a vehicle, please inform us right away.

WE DON'T OFFER AUTOMOTIVE WAREHOUSING OR SHIPPING SERVICES.

Any email that requests a deposit or payment for a shipment of a car stored in an ean warehouse is a scam. Excellence Auto Network does not own a warehouse, and we don't ship cars. Simply put, we don't get involved in transactions between buyers and sellers (see more below). There are many reputable warehousing and shipping services that can make long-distance transactions easy. Just besure to check out the services proposed on your own. If a seller recommends a warehousing or shipping service, report the seller to us.

WE DON'T GET INVOLVED IN TRANSACTIONS BETWEEN BUYERS AND SELLERS.

Don't respond to any email that appears to come from Excellence Auto Network (for example, by displaying our logo) and urges you to complete the sale or purchase of a car listed on our site. Such emails are a sure sign of a scam.

Other signs of fraud are emails that:

•    Claim the security of a transaction is guaranteed by Excellence Auto Network

•    Imply we've verified information about a particular buyer, seller or listing.

•    Describe a "preferred" or "pre-approved" buyer or seller program.

Excellence Auto Network doesn't guarantee or endorse transactions, and we don't have preferred or pre-approved buyers or sellers. We'll never encourage you to buy any particular vehicle listed on Excellence Auto Network or to sell your vehicle to any particular buyer. If you receive a suspicious email such as the ones described above, report it to us.

WE DON'T ASK YOU FOR PERSONAL OR FINANCIAL INFORMATION VIA EMAIL.

Online fraud often begins with a spoof email requesting financial information. These spoof, or scam, emails often impersonate a reputable company such as autotrader by illegally displaying a company's name, logo or trademark. The intent is to deceive customers into revealing information such as:

•    Username

•    Password

•    Social security number

•    Bank account number

•    Bank routing number   

The only time we'll ever request your credit card information is when you're in the process of purchasing an ad on our traditional website. Or selling a specific year make and model through our bad credit financing basically making you a member of our inventory. We will not take down your listing purchased through our traditional website because you don't provide account information. If you receive an email that asks for the kinds of information listed above, don't respond. 

WE DON'T INSPECT VEHICLES LISTED ON OUR WEBSITE FOR FLOOD DAMAGE.

Hurricane katrina flooded an estimated half a million cars. These damaged vehicles may make it into the used car market all over the u.s. and may be sold to unsuspecting buyers.

Be aware that flood-damaged vehicles may have been:

•    Submerged in water and covered in mud.

•    Contaminated with toxic chemicals.

•    Carrying large amounts of harmful residue.

•    Corroded, causing damage to electronic components.         

If you own a flood-damaged vehicle, contact your insurance company. Your insurance company can work with vendors to determine if your car is worth repairing or if it needs to be declared a total loss.

COMMON-SENSE ADVICE FOR BUYERS

Buying a car you find online is a lot like buying a car through a classified ad in the newspaper. In either case, use your best judgment.

KNOW THE CAR'S MARKET VALUE

Be suspicious of a vehicle priced significantly below market value. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

OBTAIN A VEHICLE HISTORY REPORT

A vehicle history report can provide useful information, such as who holds the title to the car and whether the car has been in an accident reported to authorities. You'll also find out whether the car was ever reported stolen, salvaged or damaged.

INSPECT THE CAR

Schedule an inspection with a professional mechanic or an inspection service if the car is not in your area. An early inspection can help you identify problems. However, keep in mind that an inspection isn't a warranty and won't guarantee a car is free from defects or that inspectors have identified all existing problems.

CONFIRM CONTACT INFORMATION

Before you send payment, verify the seller's street address and phone number- an email address is not enough. Zip codes, area codes and addresses should match up. Be wary if the seller is located overseas.

USE EMAIL WISELY

Avoid sending sensitive personal or financial information (such as your social security/insurance number) to a seller via email. Remember that email communications are not secure and can be easily forwarded to others.

GET A DETAILED RECEIPT

Ask the seller for a receipt that states whether the vehicle is being sold with a warranty or "as is."

GET TITLE TO THE VEHICLE

Make sure you know what's required in your state to transfer title to the vehicle you're buying.