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Don’t Fall Victim to Car Sales Scams




A recent spree of stolen vehicles being sold to unsuspecting buyers has the Sacramento Police Department reminding people to use caution when buying and selling cars.

These instances have occurred when buyers respond to online ads put out by private parties. Detectives advise anyone buying and selling cars online to follow these tips to prevent any more victims to the scam.

  • Print out the ad for evidence of the sale.
  • Ask the seller for a picture id, to compare to the person who you are doing business with.
  • Meet the seller in a public setting during normal business hours.
  • Make sure the seller has the title to the vehicle, and it belongs to the vehicle in discussion. Compare the vehicle identification number (VIN) and license number to the title. You can also call the police with the VIN and ask if the car is stolen.
  • Be sure to get a bill of sale and release of liability. In addition, watch the seller fill out the forms to say you saw the seller do so.
  • If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Anyone who has been a victim of this scam or has any information regarding the scam to call the dispatch center at (916) 264-5471 or Crime Alert at (916) 433-HELP or text 274637 (CRIMES).

Ruben Dominguez filed this report.