Scammers Using Phony Sites to Steal Information
Scammers are continually evolving and looking to find new
schemes to trick people out of their money. Department of Ag, Trade, and
Consumer Protection Director Michelle Reinen says a new scam is targeting
people trying to sell their cars online.
Reinen explains that “a phony
buyer will call the seller and then ask for a vehicle history report. But they
direct that seller to get them or provide them with that vehicle history report
from a particular website, and really they’re controlling this fake website –
and earning money off of getting this fake vehicle history report from this
When a victim logs onto that site to get the phony vehicle history report, the scammers have access to any information they may be required to share in order to get the report.
Reinen says “they’re also
obtaining the information about the vehicle in detail, that you’re putting in
order to make this purchase or gathering those credit card numbers when you’re
making that purchase as well. So they’re using it as a lead generator. Really
another name for that is the sucker’s list – so you’re going to end up being
targeted for other scams as a result of this as well.”
She also points out that there are ways to avoid becoming a victim of this kind
Reinen argues that you should always know the reputation of a business – whether it’s brick and mortar or online – before working with them.
If someone demands a specific site’s report, Reinen says to “provide the
vehicle history report that you have available if requested. And then always,
before you interact with a company, do your research on them and enter it – do
a Google search with the name and complaint or reviews or rating or scam – and
then you’ll get a hit back on this scam.”