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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

Avoiding Online Car-Buying Scams

Dec 6

Written by: OMVIC Communications
Friday, December 6, 2019  RssIcon

If you’re looking to purchase a late model used car or truck, chances are you’ve checked out some of the online auto marketplaces such as Kijiji, AutoTRADER or others. While there are a lot of legitimate vehicles available through these sites, there are also online scams you should watch out for.

The best way to protect yourself against scams is to educate yourself, ask lots of questions, and learn to recognize red flags.

The Deal That is Too Good to be True

Nothing should get your spidey senses tingling more than a car priced well below market value. You see it online and try to make arrangements to go see the vehicle, but there’s always an excuse why you can’t go and see the vehicle in person—the seller has moved away and left the vehicle in storage, or the car is at a dealership in the US that is too far away to visit.

The seller may even ask you to wire transfer a deposit to secure the deal or to deposit funds into an escrow account not of your own choosing. The reality is, despite the guarantees, professional websites and online testimonials, the seller and car are usually fictitious … and the deal is too good to be true. Walk away!

For more red flags check out the graphic below:

Online Scams

Remember, only when you buy from an OMVIC-Registered Dealer are you protected by Ontario’s consumer protection laws and have access to the Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund.

About OMVIC

As the regulator of motor vehicle sales in Ontario, OMVIC’s mandate is to maintain a fair and informed marketplace by protecting the rights of consumers, enhancing industry professionalism and ensuring fair, honest and open competition for registered motor vehicle dealers. Visit omvic.ca to learn more about your car-buying rights as well as additional tips for buying a car in Ontario. For car buying tips, check out the OMVIC Academy. You can view other resources such as multilingual videos and download the OMVIC Car-buying Guide.



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