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Trade-in Scams


Although more and more consumers are becoming aware of the potential pitfalls of purchasing used vehicles, many remain unaware of a trend referred to as trade-in auto fraud. Trade-in scams are a form of used car fraud, and as such, are unlawful. As a result, dealers who engage in these types of practices can be held liable by defrauded consumers, so if you were recently taken advantage of by a used car dealer, it is important to contact an experienced Philadelphia used car fraud attorney who can help you seek compensation from the at-fault party.

What is Trade-in Auto Fraud?

When a person wants to replace an old vehicle and goes to a used car lot to look for a new car, he or she is often allowed to exchange the old car for a new vehicle. Unfortunately, during these transactions, some dealers offer an amount that is higher than a vehicle’s trade-in value is actually worth, which allows them to tack on this increase in value to the total cost of the vehicle that they are selling. In the end, this results in consumers paying more for their used vehicle, despite receiving more for their old car.

Alternatively, a dealership could offer to take an old vehicle in trade, including any unpaid loans on the car, and then add the remaining balance of the loans to the cost of the newly purchased vehicle. Fortunately, dealers who use these types of tactics without advising consumers that they are doing so have committed auto fraud and can be held liable for resulting damages.

Avoiding Trade-in Scams

Educated buyers are much less likely to become the victims of trade-in scams and other forms of auto fraud, so it is important for consumers to do their research before stepping onto the dealership lot. This includes knowing the trade-in value of one’s current vehicle, as well as the cost of the specific type and model of car that the consumer is considering purchasing.

Kelley Blue Book is one of the best resources that consumers can use during this process, as it can help estimate the value of trade-ins and other vehicles that they are thinking about purchasing. Used car buyers should also keep an eye out for a drastic difference in the pricing that they have researched and the price offered by the dealership. If there is a significant difference in these numbers, then there’s a good chance that the dealer is attempting to defraud the customer. When this occurs, buyers should not hesitate to ask the dealership about how they came up with their prices and offers.

Call Our Office Today

If you recently traded in your vehicle and then realized that you were offered an unfair price, or were purposely misled by a dealer, you could be entitled to damages. Please contact Louis S. Schwartz at CONSUMERLAWPA.com in Philadelphia today to speak with a dedicated used car fraud attorney who can explain your legal options and ensure that your legal rights and interests are protected.




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