Attention anyone buying a used vehicle online...

Car Selling Scams Are At An All Time High - Here's How To Protect Yourself Before It's Too Late!

Introducing an all new way to verify the legitimacy of used car listings in South Florida, so you don't get screwed.

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
See this car for sale below? This was an actual online car scam we uncovered for one of our customers.
Online car selling scam in florida
This particular scammer was asking for a $500 deposit to take the car off the market after our customer showed interest in the vehicle. Sensing something was up, our customer did not pay the money and instead hired us to check and see if the vehicle actually existed or were they trying to hoodwink them.

The address given to the customer turned out to be a fake. When we approached the homeowner at the address given, they informed us that there was no such vehicle for sale at that address. Further attempts to contact the scammer went unanswered and the listing went down the next day.

Fortunately, our customer was smart enough not to pay, but will you be so lucky?
How Do You Know If You're Being Scammed?
Scammers are pretty sophisticated, and it can be hard to tell. They respond to all your messages, answer all your questions and seem very genuine. You might even talk to them over the phone. Not much about their interaction with you will give anything off.

There are some tell-tale signs to watch out for however, like the seller wanting payments in gift cards or a wire transfer. Or like above, asking for a "hold deposit". Also, watch out for the sad storyteller who just had a death in the family and needs to sell the car fast.

All of these can be clues that something isn't right, but the proper way is to actually see the vehicle in person.

Most scams involve cars that either don't exist, are not for sale or are just other listings stolen off the internet.

Ask for the address of where the vehicle is located. A red flag is the seller not giving you an address; however, most scammers are prepared with a fake address. This is usually just some random address in the city they are supposedly in.

Unless you actually live in or nearby this city, the chance of you finding out this is a scam is almost zero. This is why scammers prefer to target out of state buyers because their scam will work more efficiently.
BUYER BEWARE: Florida Is The Scam Capital Of America!
Vehicle verification services
Top 5 States With The Highest Reported Online Scams In 2021:

In recent years, Florida has gained an unfortunate reputation as the online scam capital of America, and potential car buyers need to exercise heightened caution when considering online transactions within the state.

If you are looking to buy a car online from Florida, you should be wary of sophisticated schemes that range from non-existent cars and deceptive descriptions to fraudulent payment services.
How Specktion Can Help
If the car you're interested in purchasing is located in South Florida, but you are not, we can make a trip to the address the seller gave you to see if the vehicle is actually there. If so, we will take a few pictures of it to verify its presence.

If we do not see the vehicle there, we will take a picture of the address to show we arrived at the location.

We will also attempt to knock on the door of the address given to verify if the vehicle exists and whether or not it is for sale.
Mobile car verification
How Does It Work?
Simply inform the seller that because you are too far away at the moment, you would like to have the vehicle verified. Let them know that it takes less than 5 minutes and we will only be there to take a few pictures of the vehicle and verify its presence.

Once they agree, call us and we will set up a time with the seller to go verify the vehicle. The seller doesn't need to be present during the verification so we can set a broad time and get the job done within 24 hours in most cases.

Once verified, we immediately text you the details including all of the photos we took. We'll let you know if we met the seller as well.
How Much Is It?
Our vehicle verification service costs only $79 per vehicle. Once we receive your order, you will usually get the results of the verification within 24 hours in most cases.

We can verify any vehicle, any year.  
*The price includes up to 15 miles of driving one way. Each mile over 15 miles is charged at $1 per mile.
Verification Includes:
Visually determine if vehicle exists
Compare if listing photos visually similar to actual vehicle
3 to 4 pictures of the vehicle from different angles
24 hour turnaround time (most cases)
You Have A Lot To Lose
Online scammers are cunning and sophisticated, so don't think you will easily spot one. See how one scam fooled an unsuspecting buyer.
A Costly Lesson: The Facebook Marketplace Car Scam
TRUE STORY - In the serene suburbs of Oakridge, a small town known for its tight-knit community, John Thompson was in search of a reliable car to replace his aging sedan.

One sunny afternoon, John stumbled upon a seemingly unbeatable offer—a sleek, low-mileage SUV listed at $5,000 below market price. The Facebook pictures showcased a pristine vehicle, and the description spoke of a motivated seller needing a quick sale due to relocation.

Intrigued, John messaged the seller, a person named Sarah, who claimed to be in the military and said the car was being stored at a shipping company facility.

Sarah explained the sale needed to be fast and proposed a convenient solution to put John at ease—a secure, third-party escrow service that would hold the funds until the car was delivered.

Trusting the legitimacy of the military backstory and reassured by the escrow service, John agreed to the terms. As the transaction progressed, John received a meticulously crafted invoice from the so-called escrow service.

The document bore official-looking logos and legal jargon, adding an air of authenticity. Even the website looked official with numerous pages and even an 800 number and address with pictures of the building.

Convinced he was making a prudent choice; John transferred the funds to the provided escrow account.

After the deal went through, Sarah thanked him and said she was going to start making arrangements to deliver the vehicle over to John and to give it a week or so before the vehicle arrived.

As the days went by, John's anticipation grew. However, the promised delivery date came and went without any sign of the vehicle. Alarmed, John attempted to contact Sarah, but to his dismay, her Facebook profile had vanished, leaving no trace behind.

Concern turned to panic as he realized the gravity of the situation—he had fallen victim to an elaborate Facebook Marketplace car scam.

When he went back to check, the escrow website was gone, with no trace of it ever having existed.

In a desperate attempt to salvage the situation, John reported the incident to the local authorities and Facebook. However, the elusive scammer had covered their tracks well, and the chances of recovering his funds were slim.

John had just lost $28,000!

Heartbroken and financially strained, John couldn't comprehend how he had fallen for the scam.

John's story serves as a cautionary tale for others navigating the online car marketplace.

It highlights the need for vigilance, thorough research, and most importantly, verifying the legitimacy of sellers before making any financial commitments!
Call us at 772-774-7978 to find out if that vehicle you're interested in is a scam!
Multiple inspectors on hand to offer fast and reliable service. We verify from Vero Beach all the way to Ft. Lauderdale and everywhere in-between.
Mobile pre purchase inspection of florida
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The Scams Are Everywhere!
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