RIP-OFF ALERT: Edmunds.com has had its good name and logo ripped off by con artists trying to sell cars through a bogus purchase protection program that doesn’t exist.
David Lazarus of The Los Angeles Times reports that crooks are posing as soldiers or sailors stationed overseas and telling people the vehicles in question are in an Edmunds-protected facility and will be released upon receipt of the money.
These are cars that actually do exist for sale, but Edmunds has nothing to do with them or the scam. Their logo is being used on a fake website. There is no buyer’s assurance program through Edmunds nor are there any such protected facilities. (Again, Edmunds is not in any way at fault here. Their brand and reputation is being manipulated by savvy criminals.)
Here’s what you need to know: It’s hard enough to buy a used car and not get ripped off when you’re buying it in person. But buying on the web sight unseen? Trusting a story somebody tells you? You get no car and you give up your money. You’ve got to be so careful out there when you buy anything over the web.
I recall when my executive producer Christa was in the process of shopping for a used vehicle from independent sellers. She saw and test drove three vehicles and they all seemed great and had clean CarFAX reports. But then an inspection by an independent mechanic found major problems, either undisclosed accidents or huge repairs waiting to happen. In each case, Christa could have ended up in trouble.
Thankfully, the fourth vehicle she test drove and had inspected turned out to do very well for her.