The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Central and South Alabama alerts consumers about an increase in fake classic car and heavy equipment websites scamming individuals.

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These fraudulent sites have led to significant financial losses, with many Alabamians targeted by car dealer scams originating from other states.


1977: Pontiac Trans AM
Greg Gjerdingen // Wikimedia Commons

Scammers create fake websites that closely mimic legitimate classic car dealerships, using stolen photos, contact information, and vehicle identification numbers (VIN) from authentic sellers to deceive buyers.

The BBB urges consumers to exercise caution and verify the legitimacy of online dealerships before making any transactions.

Below are three recent examples highlighting the severity of these scams:

● Crystal Dealership, Miami, FL A consumer reported losing $25,000 to Crystal Dealership, located in Miami, FL. The scammer, using the email and phone number (305) 600-0850, tricked the consumer into wiring the money after signing a contract for a vehicle that was never delivered. After the transfer, all communication ceased, and the scammer continued to list the vehicle online as available.

● JJ Auto Sales, Salt Lake City, UT A consumer reported losing $36,000 to JJ Auto Sales in Salt Lake City, UT. The scammer, using the email and phone number 1-385-327-7424, agreed on a price for a vehicle that was supposed to be delivered. After the delivery date passed, the scammer blocked the consumer's phone number.

● Faith Auto Brokers, Lebanon, MO A consumer reported losing $27,000 to Faith Auto Brokers, located in Lebanon, MO. The scammer, using the email and phone number (417) 685-1522, convinced the consumer to wire the money after signing various documents, including a bill of sale and dealer license. The vehicle was never delivered, and all communication ceased once the money was transferred.


Hands of automotive mechanic check and inspecting the engine of the car
Narongrit Sritana

If you must purchase a vehicle online, the BBB shared a few tips to help ensure a confident purchase.

● View the Vehicle in Person: Whenever possible, inspect the vehicle yourself or send someone you trust.

● Be Wary of Too-Good-To-Be-True Prices: If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

● Do not electronically transfer a deposit or any money, pay with a Cashiers Check in person if possible.

● Opt for Vehicle Pickup: Choose to pick up the vehicle in person rather than opting for delivery and pay at the time of delivery with a Cashiers Check.

● Resist High-Pressure Sales Tactics: Be cautious of sellers urging quick action.

● Use Approved VIN Lookup Websites: Verify the vehicle’s history using only approved Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) lookup websites.

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