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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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  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

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April 22, 2019
So helpful. Sending many thanks. I listed a car today and within 5 minutes received a text to go to a site, etc....exactly as you said. Fortunately I found this posting before I replied as follows: Sorry fella. It's a scam, so scram.
The aware one
May 24, 2019
Hi i been listening to a guy trying t ooffer cash and telling me hel come by ....all by text ...after a few text and trying to get me trust like any scamer he text me from a local # i let him exhaust his story and played his game......BE AWARE OF ...GAR...AUTO REPORTS....DO NOT BUY INTO SCAM AND LIES...GAR AUTO REPORTS CONTRACTS THEESE LOWLIFE ...SCAM BAGS TO GET 20$ TO A NON EXISTENT REPORT BE AWARE OF GAR....
Don’t get scammed
April 25, 2019
Just got a text from our friend “Ryan” at 916-536-6643 telling me he was interested in a car on Craigslist then sent a link to a vehicle history site, which was obviously suspicious. So after a quick google search I found this article and a few others. Don’t get scammed by “Ryan”. He is getting a kick back from the vehicle history audit website every time someone clicks on his link.
Southbay guy
November 29, 2019
I'm selling an SUV and I got a text from this number (213) 261-0588 and he is obviously a crook who was so pushy for me to go to this scam website WWW. GETAUTOREPORT. COM and get a report about my suv to send to him and as soon as I googled the website I found out that it's a huge scam so watch out.
May 05, 2019

In reply to by Southbay guy

I got a text from the same number wanting me to go to I refused and instead provided him a screenshot of my car's CarFax and he went dark. Sadly, people fall for this stuff, otherwise they wouldn't try.
Suspicious in WA
May 01, 2019
I'm trying to sell my truck on craigslist. Got a text from Vince who sent a link to Told him to purchase his own report. Thanks for this really informative article.
May 24, 2019
vehicle reports. net put two $18.95 charges on my Capital One Visa card in addition to the $1 fee I authorized for one vehicle report. I contacted Capital One and the were promptly removed. Had I not noticed them I would have been out $37.90. Lesson: Don't use vehicle reports. net
May 24, 2019
A person with email address blaine carey @ contacted me to buy my car that I posted on Craigslist. In second email, he/she requested to get a car history report from www. cars infocheck. com as required by the lending officer. Each report costs $24.95. Once you provide the report you won't hear the "buyer". Please beware of such email and this website.
June 14, 2019

In reply to by AC_SAT

It is 100% a scam – if anyone reading this paid for this so called “report” then you need to call your card company, report the charge as unauthorized and get a new CC number. If you are selling a car online and someone is interested in buying the car, you should never have to pay for any kind of report. Real buyers will be happy to call you and discuss the sale over the phone – do not take checks or money orders, very common scamming practices. I’d take cash or a cashier’s check – wouldn’t even do PayPal or any other online money transfer option (common scamming tactic).
May 05, 2019
213-261-0588 tried the same scame with me.
August 06, 2019

In reply to by dtonell

Had the same from this number yesterday 8/5/2019 he's still at it.
Average craigs…
May 07, 2019
Be very cautious I have already delt with two suggesting websites for history reports and they’ll even tell you “ im not gonna pay thousands of dollars without a vehicle report, their very rude but just expect the worst and it wont surprise you while selling you’re vehicle, one of the websites is usedvehicleinfo . Com , Good Luck!
Average craigs…
May 07, 2019
Pretty sure everyone knows this scam...they’ll offer to send you a check to you’re address for the exact amount you asked plus the tow for the truck... weird right but gets worse the check will bounce close out you’re account for sure, or the tow truck driver will hand you the check themselves and leave immediately with you’re car which is a gift at that point to them lol Good Luck !
Scam phone num…
May 07, 2019
Watch out for these callers 772-202-5583 is for vehicleinfo. Com 651-400-7003 is a check mailer scam 727-478-2136
May 25, 2019

In reply to by Scam phone num…

im in the middle of a scale I have been texting the number 651-400-7003 and I just saw this comment, they sent me a check and gave me instructions to send $400 to the people who will be picking my car up . ( I posted my car for sale on craigslist). I called my bank already to let them know that its a scam. thank you for this and BEWAREEE.
May 24, 2019
(206) 489-4160 texted me. Asked 2 questions about my vehicle, offered to meet me tomorrow. Wanted to know my address could bring cash check etc. Then, "oh by the way can you send me a HA Rport" www. history audit .com. I read about this scam, blocked the number...very much too good to be true. Guy said his name was Sabastian. Thznk you for providing info to this scam!
Ben H
May 08, 2019
Anyone in the Seattle area beware of someone by the name of Sebastian asking your to buy a history report from He persisted I buy the report from that company and did not show up to a see my car or answer any texts after.
Dan B.
May 15, 2019

In reply to by Ben H

I got the same message today from the same name. Looks like a number out of Oregon. 503-410-3389
May 24, 2019
I had this response from joels ousa69 @lycos. com for a Corvette I advertised on CraigsList: 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 www. title infocheck. com 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
May 10, 2019
This just happened to me today. When I said no, questioned it, they ghosted. Why can't people just get real jobs instead of scamming people!?!? 607 area code nowhere near where I live beware!
Not Stupid
May 11, 2019
I’m getting this now from a guy with a phone number of 321-209-7808. Hopefully Google will pick up his number and will lead any of his potential victims here. He was trying to send me to . He stopped responding one I told him I knew what he was up to.
May 13, 2019
Posted a Craigslist ad to sell my car. Got a text from an interested buyer asked me for a vehicle history report from I didn't click on his link but I did purchase a report from the website. Lesson learned!!
May 30, 2019
May 20, 2019
just happened to me from a guy called sethfox572. I posted an RV Sale on craigslist and he nicely mentioned that buys would really appreciate a report at only $19 (cheaper than $40 at Carfax). People or scrum
May 21, 2019
Great work. Thanks for your information. One should be more careful while buying a vehicle history report online.
May 21, 2019
Thanks for the information. Just got a text from a guy name Eric from this number 8016399039. I let him know that I won't pay for a report. If he wants he can pay himself, or send me a venmo for the 25 bucks and I would do it for him. Of course he stop texting...
Not a sucker1010
May 23, 2019

In reply to by Rodzila

Eric texted me too using phone number 8016399039. He's good, I came close to consider buying the report. But then I felt something was fishy. Then I started looking it up. Thanks for this help!!! I didn't fall for it
May 23, 2019

In reply to by Rodzila

The same guy just texted me tonight, same situation. Dang scammers!
June 03, 2019

In reply to by Rodzila

Just got the same guy, same number, also identified himself as Eric, I got a report from a gov approved site rather than the one he suggested for much cheaper, sent it to him. Then he stopped texting back... should have seen your comment first. Thanks for posting it anyway.
June 11, 2019

In reply to by stevo

He's still at it. Tried to get me tonight. Same number, same shtick.
May 30, 2019
Calls himself JADEN +1 (949) 203-1301 SCAMMER TRIES TO GET YOU TO BUY A VIN REPORT FROM www. national auto reports. com BEFORE HE WILL COME TO “BUY” YOUR CAR. Poaches craigslist and i’m sure anywhere else cars are listed for sale.
March 04, 2020

In reply to by SCAM-ALERT

Me too... the guy name Ed ph# 8042205224 tried to scam me asking for auto report on the golf cart we are selling. He sent me the website to use: NATIONALAUTOHISTORY. com When I told him he can do it on his own for His pease of mind, since it is a golf cart and there’s no report , then he became pushy asking me to run this report before he spends thousands of dollars . I texted him back that I already reported him as a scam and to watch out!
May 26, 2019
I'm selling my car online and some people act like they're seriously interested in buying the car then asks you to get a history report from a SPECIFIC website. Be aware of scammers!!! Very informative article. Thanks!
May 26, 2019
I'm selling my car online and some people act like they're seriously interested in buying the car then asks you to get a history report from a SPECIFIC website. Be aware of scammers!!! Very informative article. Thanks!
May 28, 2019
Eric at 8016399039 asking for a report from - also a scam
May 30, 2019
His email is blainecarey@ don’t do it it’s scam..
May 29, 2019
Me and my husband are selling our truck on craigslist this guy starts messaging me saying he is really interested in purchasing the truck i told him he could come look at it he said he lives a hour away and he would need to take time off work ask me for a nars report i said what is that he then sends me a link to click on which i don't i google it and of course a scam pops up i tell him that I'm not clicking his link it says to beware of this as a scam he then says I'm not forking over all this cash we go back and forth i said i would be willing to provide carfax report and we can meet at my local police department for him to view it he can see it in person as well as bring a mechanic with him..crickets now no response wanted to give his number he says his name is jayden his number is 650-419-9737 i believe it is a scam he sent me a link in his text message to click thank you!..people beware!
June 13, 2019

In reply to by Jennifer1127

Hi Jennifer1127. Yesterday I got a text from Jaden, same information... interested in car, an hour away, will take time off work, needs report (but he didn't send me the link). Such a scammer. Thanks for posting. It's because of your comment posted here I know he's scamming us. Thanks!
February 04, 2020

In reply to by finoli

He changed his name to Robert Griffin...same info, same story, same website!
June 28, 2019

In reply to by Jennifer1127

I got a similar text about a truck I'm selling. Pretty much a copy/paste of your conversation with your scammer (probably same guy). 816-281-6564 was the ones number. Said his name was Jonathan wanting me to go to . This is the 3rd scammer I've had with these type of sites today alone. Another was and another was .
June 02, 2019
Getting texts from Pennsylvania wanting to buy my vehicle and it course wanted me to go to a website and get a car history report. I just replied not to scam me any further
June 03, 2019
one of my friend got scammed ... they sent her a text to buy a vin at tire or track
Ronnie B
July 15, 2019

In reply to by danitim77

I got the exact same text message today! I'm so glad I checked this first!
June 03, 2019
DO not use from NJ I ordered one report and have now been charged for 4 more - @ $29.95 each. I have since cancelled my card and am having my bank start a fraud investigation. They do not answer emails, and there is no phone number to contact.
June 13, 2019
Just had Eric contact me with the same number 801-639-9039 saying he was in Herriman, Utah. Complete scam asking me to get the VH from a certain website vehicle history audit. com/.
June 13, 2019
joelsousa 69@ just emailed me yesterday trying the same exact scam! Beware!
June 18, 2019
Thanks for posting this. I rec'd an email from blainecarey@ telling me to pull the VIN vehicle report. The email address has been blocked.
June 18, 2019
Hey FTC. You see all the comments here about vehicle report scams and your article shows you know the exist. Can't you investigate and shut down the companies taking the money? If not, what exactly do you guys do? Anyone who come across this informational article has already figured out the scam. These scams are happening simply because nobody does anything to the scammers!