With electronic funds transfer, online purchasing, and credit cards everywhere, the problem of identity theft is a hot topic for consumers, retailers, and law enforcement. Recently a series of ads running in heavy rotation on television has pointed out the problem in a blatantly in-your-face way. But now identity theft has a new wrinkle. The stolen identities aren’t those of people; they are the identities of cars. In fact, if you are driving a used car these days, that car might not be what you think it is, and the difference could end up costing you thousands of dollars. Read more . . .
According to the FBI, a motor vehicle is stolen every 25 seconds in the USA, and fewer than 50 percent of those stolen cars are ever recovered. Where do they all go? Is there a big closet filled with stolen cars somewhere? Or do they go to that secret part of the clothes dryer that also hides individual socks? No, many of them end up back on the street, but under an assumed Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Read more . . .
Would you buy a used car–with cash–from someone you just met in the bar, and who walked you down a dark alley to show you the car? Not likely. How about from a well-dressed, friendly, middle-aged man or woman, who placed a classified ad in your local newspaper, and who meets you midday at a restaurant of your choice?
Oops! You may be more likely to be cheated by seller number two. That’s the story of Jennifer Warwa, who bought a minivan and had her mechanic examine it. The mechanic later said how shocked he was that Jennifer had been scammed:
“Because I met the gentleman who was selling the vehicle. Very clean cut. In his fifties. Very soft spoken…. And Read more . . .