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Vehicle sellers are being duped into buying vehicle history reports

Vehicle sellers are being duped into buying vehicle history reports. (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Jenn Perry is trying to sell her Hummer. After listing it online, she thought she had an interested buyer.

“I got a text message from a gentleman saying that he wanted to come test drive my car," he said.

First, however, the potential-buyer insisted Jenn buy a vehicle history report – and he demanded it be purchased from a website of which Jenn had never heard before.

"I’m like, ‘Do you mean Carfax?,” Jenn said. “He’s like, ‘No.’ And he sends me a website."

Jenn went to the site where it asked for $25 to run the report. Jenn was suspicious so she googled the guy's number and quickly discovered that he'd asked several other people who are selling their cars to also pull reports.

“I realized I was getting scammed," Jenn said.

Jenn says she told the potential-buyer she would only buy the report if he came to see the car first so that she could be sure he was serious about buying. After that, he stopped responding, she says.

Jane Driggs with the Utah Better Business Bureau says Jenn was right to be suspicious. The BBB put out this warning telling folks to beware of what it’s calling the ‘vehicle history report scam.’

How it works: The car buyer isn't actually a car buyer but rather a guy who gets paid for every vehicle history report that is run. They prey on people selling their cars online. With no intention of actually purchasing the vehicles, sellers are duped into buying the reports.

"I would say this is a scam,” Driggs says. "Consumers are getting ripped off. They're being told to get something on the pretense that somebody's going to buy their car. And that person does not want to buy their car so they're getting scammed."

The website to which Jenn was asked to go was myinstantreport.com. Get Gephardt found the phone number listed for that site actually goes back to several other websites like quickautoreport.com, usedvechilepro.com, and nationalvinreports.com.

Over the course of a couple weeks, Get Gephardt emailed the company, called it and attempted to "chat" with its representatives online - specifically saying that both the BBB and Jenn suspect the websites are a scam.

Nobody responded.

This is an issue that is coming to light nationwide. If you are selling a car and are contacted by a buyer who you suspect is trying to scam you into buying a vehicle history report, you are encouraged to report it to the Federal Trade Commission.

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