On April 1, 2016 Better Business Bureau Northwest first reported on a fake online car dealership claiming to be based in Spokane. Now, BBB investigators say there’s another site, claiming to sell recreational vehicles also out of Spokane.
Discoverys (sic) Tut RV’s website states its location as 2001 S. Flint Road in Spokane. But a BBB investigation shows the company does not exist at that address. A Texas resident almost fell victim to this scheme and contacted BBB Northwest. The man said he received the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to an RV, but when he looked it up he discovered the vehicle had already been sold several times in Florida and California last year.
A consumer in Alaska almost fell for the same scam, but fortunately he realized something was off about the salesperson and decided not to go through with the transaction.
Shoppers should remember the following when looking to purchase a vehicle online:
- Vehicle viewing. If you are unable to take the vehicle out for a test drive, have someone you know see the car in-person before purchasing.
- Do your research. Look up its Kelley Blue Book value. Many times scammers list cars under marketplace value. Shoppers may act quickly thinking the deal is too good to last. In reality it is often too good to be true.
- Watch your money. Be wary of sellers who ask you to wire money instead of using a check or credit card.
Check out bbb.org to find automobile dealerships you can trust when shopping online.