A warning of fraudulent websites that have been established to mimic active state automobile dealerships has been issued by the state Attorney General’s Office and the state Department of Revenue. So far, two dealerships in the state have been targeted by these criminals.
People purchasing motor vehicles are being targeted when going through well-known sites such as Craig’s List, carsforsale.com, and other internet forums. The scammers impersonate active South Dakota dealerships, setting up fake websites, posting stock photos of vehicles and discounted prices to entice potential victims. When asked for additional photos, the scammers will conduct video calls and have a YouTube channel established with videos of the vehicles available for sale. The scammers will also forward images of fake titles and doctored documents to the potential customer.
Individuals wanting to purchase vehicles from this site are asked to wire a deposit. The South Dakota Consumer Protection Division has received calls from multiple consumers outside of the state that have been scammed out of thousands of dollars.
The South Dakota Department of Revenue’s Motor Vehicle Division has received questions regarding the legitimacy of motor vehicle titles and active dealers. The Department urges consumers to take caution when reviewing titles associated with these websites and warns individuals not to transfer funds unless they have physically seen the vehicle.
Anyone with questions regarding the legitimacy of a state vehicle title should contact the Motor Vehicle Division. Anyone who has fallen victim to this scam is encouraged to contact their state’s Consumer Protection Division.
Anyone who has fallen victim to this scam is encouraged to contact the Consumer Protection Division in their state, South Dakota consumers can reach Consumer Protection at 800-300-1986 or 605-773-4400.
May 25, 2022