The Better Business Bureau is reporting increased incidents of people being scammed when they try to sell their cars through a private sale. Car sellers attempting to sell their cars through Craigslist or any other online listing website are being contacted by scammers posing as legitimate buyers who ask for a report on the car’s history. This is entirely reasonable. Whenever you purchase a used car you should always get a full report on its history. However, the scam comes in when the phony buyer sends the car seller a link to a website to purchase a vehicle history. Sometimes the scam is merely to steal the few dollars necessary to pay for the car report, however, in other instances, the linked website asks for personal information used to make the car seller a victim of identity theft. In a worst case scenario, merely clicking on the link may download malware such as ransomware or keystroke logging malware that can lead to identity theft.
If you are selling a car and the prospective buyer asks for a car history report, you should choose the company to provide that service to make sure that it is legitimate. The United States Department of Justice operates The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System which provides much information about used cars.  The NMVTIS provides a list of various companies such as Carfax that have been approved to provide reliable reports.  These companies charge between $2.95 and $12.99 for a report that will provide detailed information on any used car you are considering purchasing. The NMVTIS’s website can be accessed at
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