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HEAT® Safety Tips

Tips to Prevent Used Car Fraud


Buyer (or Seller) Beware

Consumers become vulnerable to fraud every time they sell a used vehicle on their own, or buy one from an individual.  Here are some safety tips to protect both the buyer and sell from fraudulent behavior.

Tips to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Avoid selling a vehicle on Friday evening. Because banks are closed on the weekend, Friday transactions give the thief time to make a getaway before you get a chance to go to the bank and attempt to cash his or her check.
  • Get two forms of identification. Just because the buyer has a certified check, it doesn’t mean it’s valid. Call the issuing bank to verify.
  • Obtain contact information. Ask for a home or work phone number, along with the address of the purchaser, before handing over the title. Be wary if they only use a cell phone.
  • Be skeptical of bargain prices. If you find a vehicle listed under what it’s worth, approach with healthy skepticism and research the history of the vehicle.
  • Beware of out-of-state transactions. Never walk away without a title. Completing the transaction at a Secretary of State during office hours can help reduce the possibility of fraud because they can immediately verify license and title information for legitimacy.


REMEMBER, IF YOU HAVE INFORMATION ABOUT AUTO THIEVES,
CALL 1-800-242-HEAT

By protecting your vehicle and being alert, you can be part of the solution,
and you can save money on your insurance premiums.


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Testimonials

"I saw you featured on Fox 2 Detroit recently and decided to report some suspicious activities in the park across from my house and the culprits were caught red-handed stealing my neighbor's car the very next week. Thanks for helping to make Michigan a safer place to live! I will be telling all of my friends!"

- Anonymous Tipster

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