Fraud Alert: Vehicle "Purchase Protection" Plans
I inquired about a vehicle for sale online, and the seller is telling me that Edmunds will oversee the transaction. Is this a scam?
AnswerEdmunds does NOT provide "purchase protection" plans or other escrow-type services for private party vehicle sales -- i.e. holding the buyer's payment until the vehicle is delivered. If you see anyone asking you to send money to "Edmunds Protection Vault" or "Edmunds Autos," for example, it is a fraudulent use of our name.
Please report any such activity directly to the FBI for investigation; you can do this through their Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx.
It is also helpful to make a report to the site that hosted the vehicle listing so that they can have it removed:
- AutoTrader.com: see their Fraud Awareness page, which has step-by-step instructions on how to notify them by email
- eBay Motors: visit their page on Using Escrow Services, where you can report a seller or buyer
- Yahoo! Autos: check out their Safety Tips for Buyers and Sellers page, which includes a link to report fraudulent listings
- Cars.com: explore their SAFE blog or email suspicious activity to firstname.lastname@example.org
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