Kelley Blue Book Warns Of Look-Alike Used Car Buying Scam - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Kelley Blue Book Warns Of Look-Alike Used Car Buying Scam

MSNBC.COM - There are special dangers to buying a car online. According to FBI data, between 2008 and 2010, at least $44 million has been lost to online auto scams that involve a fraudulent website or phony vehicle listing.

Now these cyber car crooks are using the good name of Kelly Blue Book to con potential victims into believing they are legit. The company just issued a fraud alert about a scam that uses a fake Kelly Blue Book website and offers a non-existent KBB guaranteed buyer-protection program.

The scam often starts with a bogus ad on a legitimate website that sells cars. The asking price is usually below market value. Those who respond to the ad will get an email explaining the low price. The seller will say they need to liquidate the car quickly because of a divorce or military deployment. And for that reason the transaction cannot be done in person.

If you seem interested, the bad guys will try to move you off of that legitimate site to one they've created.

"The fake website looks just like KBB.com," said Kelly Blue Book's Robyn Eagles. "They've stolen a lot of our graphics, our logo and a lot of information directly from our website to create their fake web page."

I saw one of the look-alike sites this week. And I can tell you, it looks completely legitimate. There are links to bona fide sites and exact copies of ads from the real KBB site. I can see how people get fooled. The only red flag I spotted was the Australian URL. Kelly Blue Book is based in the U.S. and its URL ends with ".com."

The site offers what sounds like a "no-risk" way to purchase a car over the Internet without ever seeing it. You make a down payment by wire (the method of payment preferred by scammers) and have the car shipped to you. If you don't like it or don't want it, the buyer-protection program, supposedly backed by KBB, lets you return it at no cost.

"We do not offer this type of program," Eagles warned. "If you run across this type of website or this type of offer, it's a scam." >>>CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM MSNBC

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