Title Washing May Affect 8,000 Indiana Cars, 80K Nationwide

first_imgIf you’re in the market for a used vehicle make sure you do the proper research before purchasing. A scam known as title washing is making its way across the country and could impact consumers in Indiana.“This is an emerging scam that is happening across the country that is a little bit like changing the grade on your report card, only with much more dire consequences,” explains Chris Basso with Carfax, a web-based service that supplies vehicle history reports.Con men illegally alter vehicle documents to remove major problems indicated on a car’s title, duping unsuspecting consumers into buying potentially dangerous cars.Scammers may also relocate the vehicle to another state, such as Indiana, to obtain a clear title.Basso estimates title washing may affect nearly 80,000 cars on the road in the United States and approximately 8,000 in the Hoosier State.The reselling of flood-damaged cars made national headlines following weather-related events such as superstorm Sandy in 2012 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.“Buyers in states like Indiana don’t expect for flood cars to make their way from states more susceptible to flooding like the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic,” Basso said.“Anybody that bought these cars previously may not know they are driving them and some of these cars may be up for sale. If you are in the market for a used car it is definitely something used car shoppers need to be on the look-out for.”He added that dishonest sellers may target consumers who are more concerned about the price of the vehicle.Basso recommends getting a vehicle history report, take a test drive and get a mechanic inspection before you buy.“Those three things are key to protecting yourself. Simply asking questions of the seller, whether it’s an individual or dealer, can help separate the good guys from the bad guys,” Basso added.last_img

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