General Information Regarding Odometer Fraud
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For those who are considering buying a used automobile, perhaps one of the most highly perpetrated scams of all used car scams is odometer fraud. The following paragraphs will describe this type of fraud and detail ways to prevent becoming a victim of odometer fraud.
Defining Odometer Fraud
Odometer fraud occurs when the seller and/or owner of a used care takes steps to change the actual odometer reading on the title and automobile odometer itself. Individuals commit this type of offense for a few different reasons; however, the main reason in which individuals engage in odometer fraud is so that the automobile has a more attractive odometer reading and may sell more quickly and get a better price. It is important that prospective used car purchasers are aware of the existence of odometer fraud and take necessary precautions to guard against being susceptible to a fraudulent act of this type.
Reasons to Avoid Odometer Fraud
Some individuals may hear the term odometer fraud and not be overly concerned if the numbers on the odometer have been altered. There are a few reasons why prospective purchasers should be concerned about odometer fraud. First, if the odometer reading on the vehicle was altered, this could ultimately mean that more costly repairs will be necessary in the future as a car which is used more often has a much greater likelihood of having mechanical problems sooner than a newer vehicle. Secondly, if the odometer reading has been changed on the vehicle, the individual will most likely be paying more for an older car as the seller may charge more for a vehicle that supposedly has fewer miles, when in reality it doesn’t.
Ways to Prevent Becoming a Victim of Odometer Fraud
One of the reasons why odometer fraud is so widespread is due to the fact that it is very difficult for the regular layperson to determine whether this type of illegality has taken place. However, there are a few different ways where individuals can try to protect themselves from odometer fraud. The first is to take the used vehicle to a mechanic for an inspection prior to purchasing the automobile. By doing so, the prospective buyer can make sure that everything is in working order and the overall components of the car are similar to what would be seen with a car having that type of mileage on it.
Another way in which to prevent oneself from falling prey to odometer fraud perpetrators is to ask about the history of the vehicle. This will help the prospective purchaser find out more about the car and may be able to discern certain things from how often it is has been driven, how many previous owners it has had, etc.
Lastly, one should ask to see the title prior to signing any documents. When one looks at the title they will be able to see the mileage disclosure and determine whether the current reading may be accurate or not.
Odometer fraud is a serious violation which prospective used car buyers should always be on the lookout for in order to help prevent falling victim to a crime of this type.