A viewer wanted to take the opportunity to buy a truck that he saw advertised on the Offer Up platform. He made the buy but in the end he ended up with no money and no car.
The victim wanted to surprise his wife with a new car for her birthday, so he did not hesitate to contact the person who was selling the vehicle.
According to the ad on Offer Up, the truck, a 2016 Silverado, cost $16,000. The owner then arranged for them to meet, so he could see the vehicle in Corona.
“The truck was beautiful!” says Lorena, the victim's daughter. “We were delighted. A whole truck!"
Lorena says that her father negotiated with the seller, who lowered the price down to $14,000.
"My father gave him the money and the boy gave my father the pink slip, auto registration and proof of insurance”.
The seller then left after giving them all the documents and the car. When Lorena and her father called their insurance agent to purchase coverage, they were told that something was wrong.
"The papers did not match those of the truck," says Lorena. "At that moment, my brother went to look in CARFAX and it said that the truck was stolen."
Unable to believe it, they decided to call the police. They confirmed that the vehicle was stolen and the license plate was also from another stolen car.
Unfortunately, the authorities confiscated the truck, and they were left without their money.
But they decided not to sit idly by. They checked the Offer Up page again and found the same salesperson who was advertising a 2016 black Silverado pickup.
They made an appointment with the man and notified the police.
"It turns out that the truck was stolen," says Lorena. “Unfortunately, the seller was not there. He had already fled when we arrived."
Devastated, they wanted to share their story to prevent other people from falling for this scam.
Recommendations for buying a car online
- Check the car's history at CARFAX to verify that everything is in order.
- Make an appointment to meet the seller at a police station.
- Also check the vehicle identification number on the National Insurance Crime Bureau website by clicking here. On that page you will also find other options to check the car's history.
The perfect place to transact the purchase and sale of a used vehicle is the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). There you can request the transfer of the title and it will allow you to make sure that the whole process is legal.
Remember: Never pay until you are sure the entire process is legitimate.