Articles Posted in Automobile Dealership Fraud

This blog post is going to be short, because there’s really no discussion necessary.

When you purchase a car at a dealership, HAVE YOUR FINANCING LINED UP BEFORE YOU VISIT THE DEALERSHIP. Period. It’s that simple.

This will help you avoid the possibility of being a victim of a host of possible scams, will assure you get the best rate possible, and will give you leverage in negotiating the purchase price of the vehicle. Don’t finance through the dealership.

Revised provisions of the Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act went into effect January 1, 2007. The revisions aren’t significant, but this Act is. It is designed to protect consumers from “deceptive and unconscionable sales acts.”

Some deceptive acts are specifically outlined in the Act, such as:

1. Falsely claiming that a consumer good:

A Warsaw couple was recently charged with multiple counts of theft, odometer fraud and forgery arising out of the purchase and sale of luxury automobiles over the Internet. Police say that Chad and Karen Gottshalk would buy high mileage high-end cars off of E-Bay, replace or roll back the odometer, and sell the vehicles for $10-15,000 or more. Most of the vehicles were apparently sold to out-of-state Internet purchasers.

The couple attracted law enforcement attention a year ago because of paperwork submitted to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. An investigation spanned the past year.

Interestingly, Chad Gottshalk was arrested several years ago for doing the same thing at a Warsaw dealership he owned.

Automobile repair fraud consistently remains one of the top five consumer complaints in many states, according to the Consumer Federation of America. Older Americans are often targets of this illegal behavior because they are perceived as more wealthy and more concerned about safety and liability.

What can you do to avoid being a victim? Several things.

* Find someone you can trust before major repairs are needed. Shop around while having minor repair work or routine maintenance done on your vehicle. Hopefully you will find someone you can trust, and, even better, establish a relationship with.