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10 Worst Scams of 2010

5. Online Car-Buying Scams

Increasing consumer self-reliance for finding the best deals out there has encouraged cyber-criminals to propel into existence yet another Internet scam: online car buying. One car-buying venue people are consistently turning to is classified sites such as Craigslist. While the advantage to using such sites is mainly the opportunity to bypass dealership middlemen, the pitfalls are real too. Some common variants of the online car-buying scam include escrow scams, in which the buyer is asked to deposit money in a fake Pay Pal-type escrow service, and the "price too good to be true" scam. In the latter, a prospective buyer sees a car (often a classic or exotic one) for a price well below market value. When contact with the seller is made, the buyer learns that the car is outside of the country and special arrangements must be made for shipment, upon payment. A demand for a wire transfer or bank-to-bank transfer is virtually a guarantee that the transaction will end when the money is transferred and collected.

(iStock Photo)

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