Waterloo Regional Police have issued a warning about a new used car scam that has recently strike to dupe area residents.
Police say the scammers are advertising vehicles as being for sale online. They say a meeting is then arranged between the buyer and seller where the vehicle is sold “as-is,” meaning the victim is responsible for making any repairs to their purchase to complete the inspection. They are not provided with a used vehicle information package either.
According to police, the victim will then get repairs done as they have a mechanic complete a safety inspection, before they go to the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) to get plates and a permit.
At that point, the victim then discovers that they have purchased a stolen car.
Police say that in one case, a Kitchener resident purchased a used vehicle from someone in the GTA and forked over $5,000 for their new car. The fraudster gave them a bill of sale and an ownership slip as part of the transaction.
The victim paid another $1,500 in repairs to get the vehicle certified, only to discover that the car had been stolen when they got to the MTO. They then called York Regional Police, who confirmed that it had been stolen.
Police issued some tips for residents to make sure they are not duped by the hucksters, including making sure they thoroughly review the Used Vehicle Information Package, which is required in Ontario to complete a used car sale.
They also recommend getting the vehicle identification number checked and asking to take the car to a mechanic for an independent inspection.
Police also say to be wary if the seller wishes to get the deal done quickly, and to take your time in making a used vehicle purchase.