Beware of Scams: Odometer rollback fraud

New research shows more than 190,000 cars have their odometers rolled back every year
February 5, 2014 8:59:06 PM PST
New research shows more than 190,000 cars have their odometers rolled back every year, potentially costing millions in lost value and unexpected repairs. If you're in the market for a used car buyer beware!

Numbers show there's potential for you to end up with a vehicle that's been tampered with. But there are steps you can take to protect your purchase.

Mike Butler is about to go shopping for a used vehicle. But didn't know Texas ranks number two in odometer fraud.

"I'll definitely be aware of that when I go get another car," Butler said.

At least 100,000 cars that have an odometer rollback, are on the road, right here in Texas. Chris Basso with Carfax says odometer setbacks have been a problem in the US for years. But advancements in technology has made it easier for scammers to kick back the miles.

"Get a Carfax vehicle history report, and look at the mileage readings that have been reported to us. And take the car to a qualified mechanic. Have it inspected before you buy it," said Basso.

Basso says to look out for red flags like excessive wear and tear.

"Some of the most used spots on the car. The brake pedals, the steering wheel, the shift knob. A lot of those things, they wear with the vehicle mileage so if those things aren't matching up, it's a good sign the vehicle may have been rolled back," said Basso.

Basso tells us purchasing a vehicle with odometer fraud will not only cost you more up front, but in the long run as well.

"So you may be incurring costly repairs, sooner than you expect," said Basso.

The average loss is about $4,000 per consumer. But you can protect yourself by purchasing from a recommended dealership or trusted seller. Also, be wary of 'too good to be true' deals or overly-aggressive sellers who want a quick sale.

Find Jeff on Facebook at ABC13JeffEhling or on Twitter at @jeffehlingabc13

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