Unfortunately for unwary consumers, there are many potential types of auto fraud that can affect them during the car-buying process. Unscrupulous car dealers and salespeople use many different tactics in an attempt to sell vehicles. Most types of auto fraud can be broken down into one of two categories. The first category involves the use of non-disclosures or concealment. The second category involves the use of what are known as “affirmative misrepresentations”.
Non-Disclosure and Deliverately Affirmative Misrepresentation
A salesperson uses non-disclosures as a form of auto fraud when he or she withholds information from the consumer that affects the desirability or value of the vehicle. Deliberately failing to inform the consumer of any of the following facts are examples of non-disclosure that could equate to auto fraud:
- The vehicle was previously a rental
- The vehicle was involved in a collision
- The vehicle sustained hidden damage
- The vehicle’s warranty has expired
Conversely, a salesperson uses affirmative misrepresentations as a form of auto fraud when he or she intentionally misleads the consumer in an active manner. Examples of affirmative misrepresentations include the following:
- Tampering with the odometer
- Using “bait and switch” advertising
- Asserting that a vehicle contains options or features that it does not
- Quoting a monthly payment amount at the time of sale that includes additional items and service that the consumer does not know about or want in addition to purchase price and interest
If you were the victim of auto fraud, regardless of which type, it is important to seek legal representation in order to protect your rights. We encourage you to contact us today at 804-282-7900 for more information.