The car title is a crucial piece of documentation that confirms legal ownership of vehicles. It also serves as proof of a vehicle’s history and is essential to insurance coverage. However, some individuals attempt to defraud buyers by selling fake car titles. These counterfeit documents are illegal and can have severe legal consequences. Learn how to identify and avoid these scams by knowing the warning signs of a fraudulent vehicle title.
Oftentimes, a fake car title is printed using a home printer and contains grammatical errors or illegible writing. Additionally, it may contain a watermark that is missing or inconsistent. These issues should raise concern and prompt you to examine the vehicle more closely.
Another red flag is when a seller is reluctant to allow you to inspect the vehicle. This can be a sign of pressure to close the sale quickly or even a scam. If the seller puts you under any sort of pressure, it’s best to walk away from the transaction.
One common form of title fraud is a practice known as “title jumping.” This occurs when someone sells a vehicle without changing over the title information from the previous owner. This can lead to a chain of fraudulent titles that makes it difficult to determine the actual owner of the vehicle.
Other methods of title fraud include altering the VIN number of a vehicle and “washing” or rescaling the title document. These methods can conceal stolen cars from law enforcement. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a vehicle is stolen every 40 seconds in the United States. Many of these stolen vehicles end up in foreign countries or are chopped up and sold for parts.