Consumer Title Resource | Since 2009!

Beware Of Scams With Your Cars Title

Our sales staff is inundated with calls, sometimes exceeding a thousand daily, where individuals share their stories about the challenges of obtaining a car title. Following the closure of the Vermont loophole, the frequency of such stories has surged, accompanied by an alarming increase in fraudulent activities. Today, we delve into five distinct types of title fraud that pose significant risks for car buyers.

  1. Duplicate Title Fraud: A Cunning Scheme
    One prevalent scenario is duplicate title fraud, wherein individuals exploit the process of obtaining a replacement title. By concealing their original title and acquiring a new one, they secure loans against their vehicles. Subsequently, they sell the original title to unsuspecting buyers, leading to complications when attempting to transfer or register the vehicle.
  2. Fake Mechanics Liens: Unraveling the Deceptive Web
    Another scam involves fake mechanic liens, where individuals manipulate the system by generating false claims of unpaid bills at body shops. As DMVs intensify scrutiny, audits reveal that a significant portion of mechanics liens are fraudulent. The repercussions include revoked titles and potential legal consequences for the implicated body shops.
  3. Title Transfer Fraud: A Craigslist Conundrum
    In this scheme, scammers on platforms like Craigslist or Facebook offer to facilitate title transfers for a fee. The unsuspecting car owner signs over ownership, only to face potential illegal processes and the risks of never regaining the title. Moreover, failure to register as a car dealer when engaging in frequent transactions may lead to asset seizures by state authorities.
  4. Altered VIN Numbers: Tampering with Identification
    A growing concern is altered VIN numbers, where individuals replace ineligible VINs with those from other vehicles. This act of tampering can lead to inspections and potential charges for VIN tampering. With up to 15 concealed VIN numbers on a car, authorities are increasingly vigilant against such fraudulent practices.
  5. Partson Vehicles: Challenging the “Nonrepairable” Designation
    Some individuals attempt to revive salvage or “nonrepairable” vehicles, often purchased from salvage yards like CoPart or IAA. Despite designations as parts-only vehicles, enthusiasts may overlook the restrictions, attempting to resurrect these cars. Authorities emphasize the legal limitations on these vehicles, urging buyers to heed the warnings and avoid potential legal consequences.
  6. Fake Lien Releases: Forging the Path to a Clear Title
    The final fraud involves forging lien releases from banks to obtain a clear title. Once submitted to the DMV, the lien is removed temporarily, but the subsequent investigation results in reissued liens and potential federal prosecution for bank fraud. This deceptive practice poses severe legal consequences for those involved.

Navigating the Post-Vermont Landscape
As the Vermont loophole fades into history, car buyers must be cautious of these fraudulent schemes. The surge in fraudulent activities demands increased vigilance when engaging in title transactions. Avoiding shortcuts and adhering to legal processes not only protects against scams but also ensures a smoother and more legitimate path to securing a vehicle title. Stay informed, be vigilant, and safeguard your hard-earned money in the evolving landscape of car title transactions.

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