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The FTC has been hearing about a new scam targeting people who are selling their cars online. They’re getting calls or texts from people who claim to be interested in buying the car – but first want to see a car history report. They ask the seller to get the report from a specific website, where the seller needs to enter some information and pay about $20 by credit card for the report. The seller then sends it to the supposed buyer but never hears back. Weird, huh?


Well, it gets weirder. When the car sellers go to one of these websites, they’re automatically redirected to sites ending in ‘.vin’ – which seems like it might be related to your car’s vehicle identification number or VIN, right? Scammers hope you’ll think that, but no. In this case, .vin is a relatively new website “domain” – like .com or .org – that groups can apply to use. This domain was intended to be used for sites that relate to wine, since “vin” is the French word for wine, but others are not prevented from using it. So yes, that’s a clever take on .vin for cars, yes, but you still might want to think twice if anyone asks you to do car-related business on a site ending in .vin.


So, if you are selling a car online and someone asks you to get a car history report from a specific site, ask why and think twice. You may have no way of knowing who operates the site, especially if it’s one you’ve never heard of. It might be a ruse to get your personal information, including your credit card account number. It also could be a way for companies called “lead generators” to get information, which they sell to third parties for advertising and marketing purposes.


Your best bet: play it safe. Go to for information on vehicle history reports, recall notices, and how to learn whether a car has been declared salvage. For example, the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) operates, which lists NMVTIS-approved providers of vehicle history reports. Not all vehicle history reports are available through the NMVTIS website. Reports from other providers sometimes have additional information, like accident and repair history.


Whether you’re familiar with a company or not, it’s always helpful to see what other people are saying online. Simply enter the name of the company, and words like “complaint,” “review,” “rating,” or “scam.”


To get more information like this, sign up for the FTC's Consumer Information Updates.

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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June 20, 2019
I ordered my INSTANT car history report 6 days ago from CARDETAILCHECK and have not received it yet. I sent messages to customer support and have not heard from them yet. I paid $24.99 by credit card. This transaction fits the description of a typical scam: I advertised the car in craigslist, received a message from "an interested buyer" requesting a car history and promising to buy if it is clean, directing me to CARDETAILCHECK because it is cheaper than most other such companies. Now I have to alert the credit card company about the scam and request a new account number.
Very Aware
June 21, 2019
This was extremely helpful since i was just targeted but did not fall for it. Thanks again
No Newbe
June 22, 2019
Beware of the "verification code" scam. A "buyer" texted me and informed me, I needed to use the code they were going to text me to ensure I wasn't a bot. I was aware of this scam and didn't respond. Their next text to me was; u scam. Blocked these crooks.
June 23, 2019
Thanks for the info. I have had two of these email type scams so far. It makes no sense because if a buyer was serious they could pull the report themselves. As the seller I could be showing them a fake report.
June 29, 2019
8042083332 texted me today wanting me to go to a site and get a vehicle carfax or something like it. I was like oh hell. No
Inland empire
July 01, 2019
I got some texts from this number 213-338-7931 saying that he was very interested in my truck he was willing to take the day off from work and bring cash or a cashier check or even go to his bank to get the moneywhen I asked him where he was coming from he said downtown LA then he ask me for a AHT Report that’s when I thought it was a scam, so I just ring him that I had a potential buyer already. I google it and luckily came across this website. Be careful people a lot of bad people out there.
Scams suck
July 01, 2019
I have had two people try and scam me on this they both try to set up times to come see the car and seem very interested but stop texting when you give them a carfax history report or say the site they sent you doesn’t work. The numbers are (614)697-4953 & (801)639-9039 Be sure to google numbers and don’t give out personal info or money to anyone!!
July 02, 2019

In reply to by Scams suck

(614) 697-4953 person did the same bing. Said they’re name was Jenny bales, gave me an email for Julia bales. Got upset when I sent them a carfax history report and said I had to use their specific site.
July 13, 2019

In reply to by Phil

I just had this same number text me if my vehicle is still for sale. Thank you for posting. I simply replied asking if this was Jenny Bales.....crickets. :)
Motorcycle seller
July 03, 2019
Happened to us today. My husband is using craigslist to sell his motorcycle. He got a text from a very rude person expecting a vehicle report and saying they'll buy the bike for the asking price tomorrow without even seeing it. Pennsylvania number 814-593-4870. Wanted us to go to with a bunch of letters and numbers behind it. Glad my husband's spidey sense went up!
July 05, 2019
Hey everyone! I just received the same email that all of us are experiencing, which is, somebody wanting to scam us with phony vin report sites, etc. I replied and told him I'd be happy to meet him, that I am a legal investigator with the Sheriffs dep't and I didn't have much time on my lunch hour, but if he can give me a specific time to meet, I can meet him in lobby with the Vin Report he requested. ( Of course I didn't attempt to get his phone Vin Report), but guess what? No more emails, hmmmm wonder what happened to this "very interested" buyer?
Jairo Alvaren
July 06, 2019
Very clear and helpful
July 07, 2019
Have been texting +1 (614) 697-4953 since yesterday. They just set up an appt for tomorrow. Said their name was Juli. Glad i googled the number and found this info before i gave them my address since this number has been reported being fraudulent.
August 07, 2019
614-697-4953 This number wanted me to use their website to get a vehicle history report. Used the email juliebales7@ Please avoid!!!
July 08, 2019
Does anybody have any idea why they direct you to a site of their choice as opposed to allowing you to choose, say, CARFAX. What's in it for them with this procedure that they couldn't achieve by simply requesting a vehicle report from an unspecified site of your choice?
August 30, 2019
Julia Bales called and scammed me insisting that I use her site to give her the VIN report. The number is 614-697-4953 and her email address is juliabales7 @
July 09, 2019
I got contacted by someone from Pennsylvania with number (267) 494-2786‬ asking about my car which i wanted to sell, who also asked about a vehicle history report, which he wanted me to purchase from a specific website (which i obviously didn't do :D)
July 12, 2019
Thank you! I literally was about to fall prey to this scam but something felt fishy. This scam is VERY easy to fall for as the buyer says they want to meet and seem legit.
August 30, 2019
I just adding my experience last night to the list. Selling a motorcycle on Craig's list. First I get a call which I don't answer and then I get a text like my add says to do. "Hello your listing for Harley is it available? I recently went to buy a similar bike in Fairfield and it had a bunch of problems. I'd come out in the near future or maybe today if you can download a carfax report on the Harley for me please" I text back "bike is at a local shop and seeing it will have to be during business hours" Then the request comes - " go here: http:// mobilefactreporting. "once you get it shoot it over in an email to me at gwendolyndobbins Clicked on the link which took me to "TireTracked" vehicle reports. That's when I Googled it and came upon this article! I forwarded the link to this article to them and amazingly I have not had a response!! The phone number was 410-314-3190. There's a place in hell for these people!
August 30, 2019
Just got the same scam from "Nick": To be able to come , see , test and make a deal for it face to face , I need the report so I can pass it to my loan officer and make sure he will allow me to buy it . I need the report because the loan company ask for it .please go to https:// www. nmvtisdatabase. and get one . will not make sense for me to get one because I can`t re use it like you can , you will be able to give it to all you potential buyers , me on the other hand if will not be ok I will gave to look for a new vehicle and get a new report . I know is only $24.99 but if I have to run 5 reports until I find an ok report where will I be ? if the report will be ok you can consider it sold . Thank You! P.S if is about the money I will add the $25 to the final price. If you was in my shoes you would take the same precautions!
September 16, 2019

In reply to by CT

I just got the same email from someone named David Goos…. same exact statement as the posted message from "Nick". This site a postings is very useful to identify these scams. Thanks for all your input.
August 30, 2019
I got mail from a man "Rick Hunt (rickhunt274@ )" asking to verify car records from www. vehiclesellerblog. com and pay $19 which is half of carfax. Please add details in database
July 30, 2019
Another number to stay away from 1-878-666-1784.
Don't use your…
July 30, 2019
I was scammed by a company called tire tracked while selling my motorcycle. The person told a story how he looked at one that was wrecked n fixed so the only way he would consider mine was to go on the site and buy the report.TOTAL SCAM! All contact ended after I bought the report
C Glenn
August 30, 2019
Yup, this just happened, someone texted me saying they were interested in the bike we are selling and asked me to get the full history report from a link they sent me. Thankfully my phone is smarter than myself and had a block page pop up. I then ordered from a certified website and sent them the link to the report and haven’t heard a response since. Please avoid this scam http:// tirevisualreview. and this one http:// autotrackerteam.c
Caroline D.
August 30, 2019
someone from12727863613 said he would be out in the next couple of days to look at my truck. Wanted me to go to www. autoreviewsreports. and send him a history report. I went on line to ask what do i do? And i find this, Thank you , I did click on it and my phone said you may be attacked by people trying to get your information. I wish we could catch these bad people. Before this one someone told me to go to a site and i did and it wanted 14.95 so i told him to get his own report.
used car seller
August 02, 2019
I put my used car on craiglist for sale. In one week I received 5 of this type of scams.
Ford Seller
August 05, 2019
(240) 907-4293 call me for a car I was selling and the call wasn't from my area code, so I was suspious right off the bat. Then I get a text message asking if the vehicle is still available from the same number. I texted back where did they see my ad, and robo machine kept on asking me to get a vechile history and totally ignoring my question. I finally blocked the number avoiding any communication from this scam.
August 07, 2019
So, I just found this website tonight, after I had been scammed by 9707783674. I had never heard of this before and I am trying to sell a car. I had no idea this was a scam. I did receive the report, but when I clicked on the photos section, it popped up telling me it was a bad site. Wondering what I do now?
August 12, 2019
Too late for me, I was duped!
They got me.....
August 12, 2019
Well, I had never heard of this scam before so I didn't think twice when a buyer asked for me to provide a vehicle history report. They sent me a link to which asked for my VIN and email. then took me to paypal to pay $25 for the report. I received emails from the site so it appeared to be legit, until I got the report that said my VIN was invalid and to resubmit it for another $25. That's when I did a search online to find this information. Beware of texts or calls from 615-208-2835. They got me, so don't let this happen to you!
August 12, 2019
Same call from 570-429-6875 out of PA. Didn't know where I was located and guessed based on my phone number. He couldn't remember the site he found the car on but really wanted to buy it.
August 12, 2019
Happened to me today but company had a .com ending?
August 15, 2019
Very helpful, got some similar text.
August 18, 2019
I got a call from 267-578-9680. The wanted me to use their car history number. I stopped there. When I asked if they wanted me to run a car fax report they went silent
August 30, 2019
I was scammed to provide a report from Auto Facts Report for $22 for my Craig’s list car listing. Beware of phone # 4342526488, kennethholland478 . He provides random website link; www .openinstants. I wish I had done more research.
August 22, 2019
I contacted a Nissan dealership online to get a quote on a repair. The woman said she would need the VIN number to access my record. I went out to the car and gave it to her. She came back with I'd left off a number. I had. I gave it to her. She said she would have someone contact me. No one did. I had a friend repair the car. Later, my credit card showed I owed for TWO VIN reports -on the same car. Beware of VEHICLEREPORTS.COM.
August 30, 2019
I had a phone text contact to buy my motorcycle, but the person at 801-226-4486, wanted a NVS report before he would buy it this week. He listed "vinreportsonline. . " to send it to him before he would come and purchase. It sounded very goofy some of his wording on previous texts were misspelled, and he seemed like he would buy it unseen, as he would need a day off and a ride to come get it. He did state his name was Alfred and I questioned him about the sketchy site and if he was part of a scam he said no.
Andrew F
August 24, 2019
(410)397-9423 contacted me about this scam today. Keep in mind sellers never need to provide a vehicle history report.
Bear Creek Hotrods
August 26, 2019
Beware of John Crone thru craigslist wanting you to get a report from and a guy named Stuart 904 290-4810 wanting a report from My listing is on CL in Florida. No response from them after I told them I know about their scam and will report them to the FTC.
August 30, 2019
I just had this happen yesterday. He again tried this morning thinking I was a different seller. I did not go to his recommended site because I already had a Carfax report. I can see how people would easliy go and pay the 25 bucks and get scammed. I have his cell number. Is there anyone to contact about the scam?
August 27, 2019
Beware of Craigslist scammer sending texts from 612-268-5339 and identifying themselves as Juli. This person texted my husband and I acting very interested in buying our truck, would be taking tge day off from work to come see it, etc and sent requst to pay for VIN report from a suspicious sounding website and email it to "juliabales9 | ". I googled Julia Bales Craigslist and it brought up this site. Please trust your instincts, not strangers from Craigslist.
August 30, 2019
I'm selling my vehicle and I got a potential buyer asking to generate a report from the following site: https:// www. onlinecheckcar. Be aware this site is a scam. The site is called car history from Experian.
September 06, 2019
BEWARE This one of the vin scammers phone number and website. http:/ /realroadreports. com/ 824-538-5354 paulajacques604 @ He insisted on me paying for a vin check. I asked what is wrong with the free site and if he worked for that website and the texts stopped.
September 02, 2019
Thanks, and a heads up it looks like has been duplicated as with identical websites. Steer clear of both.
Ddeborahon't u…
September 05, 2019
Thank you this happen to me today thank God I didnt go on the website they gave me
Car seller
September 06, 2019
Just got burned. Put up a listing on craigslist and in 20 minutes I got a text "Get a vin report from" Reply texts wouldn't deliver. But like an eager dummy I jumped on the site and give my credit card number (which is now locked). I a second screen, my browser freaked out about a phishing scam. Abort. Abort. I then search for the site name and "scam." I think Craigslist should put out an alert for newbies like me who list their car.