HOUSTON - If you’re in the market to buy a car, the Better Business Bureau is warning you to watch out for a rise in auto auction scams.
While car prices are skyrocketing, more people are turning to auto auctions to find deals. But the BBB Scam Tracker has seen an uptick in complaints of fake auctions.
Consumers complain of losing thousands of dollars in deposits or being asking for copies of their driver’s license or credit card information.
"They asked for a deposit. My deposit was $2,500. I was supposed to got to Delaware to pick up the car, but I should have known something was wrong when I couldn’t contact the place in Delaware," said Marcus White.
White filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau that he never received the vehicle he was trying to buy from an online auto salvage auction.
"Your bid is accepted pretty quickly. So it all sounds too good to be true. And in this case, it is, because it’s just a scam. They’re trying to get that money and personal information out of you," said Leah Napoliello with the Better Business Bureau.
The BBB suggests these steps to protect yourself before buying a vehicle from an online auto auction.
You’ll see ads for auto auction websites, and some may say they’re affiliated with the government. Call the government office to verify that or check out the company with the BBB or online reviews.
You can also lookup an auctioneer with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
Find out whether you’ll have to pay entry fees, winner fees, taxes, or shipping costs before you bid.
And don’t get caught up in "bidder’s excitement." That's when a scammer can take advantage of you.