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      Avoiding Common Auto Dealer Fraud Schemes: Tips for California Consumers

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      What is Auto Fraud?

      It’s unfortunate, but the common trope of car buyers getting taken advantage of by a car dealership’s schemes comes from real life. Some car dealers are scam artists; others simply do not understand what they’re doing. In either case, these individuals are committing auto fraud.

      Auto dealer fraud refers to the unlawful practice of car dealerships misleading consumers in a car sale transaction. Dealer fraud can be false advertising, fraudulent financing schemes, and deceptive negotiation tactics. Several state and federal laws are in place to protect consumers in the car market.

      If you believe you’ve been the victim of a dealership scam, contact Ibrahim Law Firm to speak with an experienced auto fraud attorney today.

      What Are Common Car Dealership Fraud Schemes and How Can They Be Avoided?

      When a dealership misrepresents crucial information, and you suffer a financial loss directly, you may have a case for auto fraud. With a well-built case, you and your legal representative may be able to win compensation for your troubles. Compensation could include a complete refund, reimbursement for repair costs, the cancellation of monthly payments, a replacement vehicle, and potentially punitive damages.

      Learn common auto fraud scams.

      Bait and Switch Advertising

      Bait and switch tactics are widespread in all consumer markets. This is a form of deceptive advertising where a dealer lures buyers in with big promises and attractive pricing (“bait”), then they reveal the truth (“switch”). This may involve saying that the sale vehicle is no longer available, or they may change the terms. Before you go to the dealership, take documented proof of the promises, and save that document for a lawyer.

      Financing and Lease Contract Forgeries

      While working out the financing and lease contracts, deceptive dealers may lie to you about your credit score or the sort of financing available. They’ll do this to get more money out of you. Avoid this by getting your loan from the bank instead of the auto dealer and know your credit score going in.

      Hidden or Doctored Documentation About Accident History and Vehicle Damage

      Used cars may have been damaged by Acts of God or car crashes. With the proper repairs, they can be good vehicles again. But consumers deserve to know the truth. Attempts to hide past damage are illegal. Use CarFax to learn more about the history of a vehicle.

      Non-Disclosure of a Vehicle’s Past as a Rental Car or Taxi

      A car’s history as a rental or commercial vehicle must be disclosed. Failure to do so is an example of auto fraud. Track down information about the car with the VIN.

      Knowingly Selling a Lemon Car

      Similarly, a dealer may knowingly sell you a lemon if they think they can get away with it. Have an independent mechanic examine the vehicle for evidence of previous repairs that may need to be adequately fixed.

      Odometer Fraud

      Mileage rollback occurs when a car dealer alters the mileage to lower the high mileage, thus making their car more appealing. When the vehicle is serviced, the actual mileage will likely be discovered. To avoid mileage fraud, do your research via CarFax.

      Falsely Indicating Optional Features Are Required

      Optional features are just that; optional. A dealership may pressure you to purchase add-ons, but they cannot say they are required when not. Draw a line through these items and adjust the price on the contract yourself.

      Misrepresenting the Scope of a Car Warranty

      Not only do some bad faith dealers cancel extended warranties without notifying a car buyer, but they can sometimes present buyers with promises about a warranty that the warranty cannot possibly deliver on. Misleading consumers with promises about car warranties is consumer fraud. Do your homework before you sign the contract.

      Contact the Ibrahim Law Firm to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with an Experienced Auto Fraud Lawyer

      If you’re a victim of auto fraud, you need to hire an attorney experienced with these types of cases. Ibrahim Law Firm is focused on auto fraud and Lemon Law cases, making them an ideal choice for your auto fraud case.

      Schedule a free consultation by calling 626-600-0890.

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