Auto scams rise amid tax season

JACKSON, Tenn. — Refunds are beginning to drop in many tax filer’s bank accounts around this time.

Some may use it on clothes, others maybe food, but many may use the money towards a new vehicle.

And there are people who may take advantage of you during tax refund season.

Auto Scams Rise Amid Tax Season

“The excitement of getting a new car can be quickly forgotten if you get a car that’s owned by a scammer, a scammer that’s going to promise you more than they’ll deliver,” said Kevin Walters, the Spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.

The Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission wants to encourage consumers to be aware of auto scams by doing research, staying vigilant, and buying from a licensed dealer.

“If it turns out that your car is not a good deal, if you’ve been taken advantage of somewhere along the line, the Motor Vehicle Commission can take action on your behalf whenever you file a complaint with us. If you’re doing a deal with someone who is not licensed, we can’t help you,” Walters said.

All auto dealers must be licensed by the Motor Vehicle Commission. And before handing over the money, examine the car carefully. Check the tires, engine condition and search for any signs of a crash.

“You can look at our website and find out what kind of disciplinary actions the Motor Vehicle Commission has taken with regard to that dealer or regard to that salesperson. That person has a paper trail, and if there have been numerous complaints about that individual in the past, you might want to stop and think before you do business with that individual,” Walters said.

Before purchasing, consider things like maintenance costs, gas insurance and more. This is because once you drive a vehicle off of the lot, it’s yours to keep.

“Make sure that you drive the car before you buy the car, take a nice long drive with it, make sure that it works, get a vehicle history, and if you’re buying a used car, get an independent entity, a mechanic, someone that you trust to inspect the car before you buy it,” Walters said.

If you believe you are a victim of an auto scam, you can file a complaint with the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission on their website or by calling (615) 741-2711.

You can find more news from across the state here.

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