The police service said on Friday it has received several files this year regarding used vehicle purchases from online sales platforms and dealerships.
“The majority of the issues reported to police have not been criminal and resulted in a civil court proceeding,” wrote Regina police in a statement on Friday.
In an attempt to reduce the amount of auto fraud incidents from happening in the city, Regina police have have provided some tips to protect the purchaser from fraud when it comes to buying a used vehicle.
- Research to determine what the vehicle is worth. Is the vehicle priced fairly? Use an internet site like Auto Trader, CARFAX or Kelley Blue Book so the buyer can receive input on information including the make, model and mileage.
- Obtain a pre-purchase inspection, which will determine the cosmetic, mechanical and safety condition of the car. A good mechanic can help determine existing conditions and potential future problems that may arise. This will have a cost, but it could potentially save you in the long run.
- Search the VIN on the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC). A public search of the VIN number can be done on the CPIC’s website to determine if the vehicle has been reported stolen. This can also be done through SGI for a fee.
- Obtain a vehicle history report. Companies such as CARFAX can provide a vehicle history report, which can provide information such as if the vehicle has been in an accident, liens, service history, reported stolen, etc.
- Buyer beware. Ask questions, and if something doesn’t feel right, walk away. Don’t feel pressured or rushed into making a purchase.
Regina police have also provided some suggestions when selling a vehicle privately.
- When meeting a potential purchaser, meet in a neutral location where you feel comfortable.
- Go along for the test drive. Again, if something doesn’t feel right, go with your instincts.
- Cash is king. Always examine the bills to ensure that they are genuine; use extreme caution if you are accepting US funds (ask yourself, does this make sense?)
- When it comes to e-transfers, it can depend on the price and the purchaser’s daily transfer limit. E-transfers can be recalled if there are not sufficient funds in the buyer’s account.
- Most financial institutions can verify if the cheque or draft is legitimate. Present the cheque to a teller to have it verified as legitimate, don’t deposit it via an ATM or mobile deposit.
- If someone offers or sends you a cheque for more than the asking price, the cheque is likely counterfeit, especially if they are asking you to send the extra funds back to them.