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Unscrupulous and creative: bad actors in auto dealer universe

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2015 | Consumer Protection

How can a bad-faith — a truly unscrupulous — auto dealer fleece an innocent consumer?

Let us count the ways.

And don’t be surprised, because there are many.

For starters, consider this long-employed ruse that has unfairly — and illegally — stuffed the pockets of scam dealers over many years, to wit: Consumer sees and ultimately acts upon very favorable financing terms that are loudly proclaimed by a dealer in print and television advertising, only to suffer subsequently by failing to note the tiny disclaimers that effectively cancel out those terms.

And here’s something truly describable that has been tied to the above scam, as noted in a media article on auto dealer fraud tactics: Some dealers operating in areas where many people speak Spanish and lack basic English skills tout their deals in the former language and then tack up their small-print disclaimers in English.

Readers of our blog in Pennsylvania and elsewhere have been acquainted with many other shady tactics and strategies that seek to lighten their wallets while providing them with a defective product.

In our May 6 blog entry, for example, we noted that some individuals and dealers engage in the practice of “title washing,” pursuant to which they purchase a damaged vehicle at a discount and then resell it for a large profit after expunging negative information from its title or, alternatively, forging a new title.

Bad actors in the industry sometimes also spike vehicle costs with so-called “add-on products” that were never requested. In some egregious cases, buyers happily depart lots with vehicles that have actually traveled hundreds of thousands of miles more than what is indicated on their odometers.

Truly, buying a car is an exercise that rewards prudence and eyes-open behavior and that can bring material harm to a buyer who is too willing to posit good faith in a seller.

Many sellers are of course conscientious and entirely honest in their dealings with customers.

But some aren’t.

And when that is the case, a proven consumer protection attorney can provide guidance and strong representation aimed at fully promoting a ripped-off buyer’s legal rights and interests.

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