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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 don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

March 04, 2020
I am selling my car on Craigslist Someone texted me asking me if I “ Could you get a vin report from digitalvehiclereport. com” With phone number +1 (719) 838-4170
March 04, 2020
Just these past couple days; I got two of these messages on the sale of my car on Craigslist. Definitely a scam. If he were a buyer, why wouldn't he order up his own report to look at all the cars he was considering? In my case the VIN is listed in the sale as are most. "Hey there. I would like to speak with you. Any accidents reported on it? If you can, please message me at my personal email instead of here please. I will leave it below for you. Mail has not been going through consistently on Craigslist and I want to make sure we can get in touch with each other. My email: TylerCox378( ) - you will need to retype that for it to work! Maybe check your spam folder also. I know mail can end up in there sometimes. Talk to you soon. Thanks. - Tyler" "Do you have a current vehicle history report? If not, I suggest getting one at this website: AutoAdviceBlog. com The report is really inexpensive, only $19. Alot cheaper than a Carfax, which is $40. The report will show any major accidents, title issues, if it was stolen, if it was flooded, etc. You will get a lot more interest providing a report up front. Basically, showing that there is nothing to hide with the vehicle to potential buyers. It definitely helps sell faster. Let me know if this helps. Thank you."
June 29, 2020

In reply to by JamaicaJoe

I got an email with the exact same text from kenwhite974@ Thank you for posting this!
August 20, 2020

In reply to by JamaicaJoe

Also thanks for posting almost same email .... my guy was Rick Nelson 845@ , I'm too stingy to pay for one & decided if he wanted one he could get it himself...then I read these posts!
December 18, 2019
I have gotten at least 6 of these texts. All pretty much identical. "I'm interested in your car it sounds like a good fit. I just need you to get me a mvr at ***** and we can get together tomorrow." If you tell them to buy it themselves they get super pushy and say "I'm about to spend thousands on your car, you can at least spend $30 for a report." Its been a different link by a different person with a different phone number, so they can change websites, phone numbers, and names pretty easily. I'm not totally clear on what they are scamming us with. Are they making money of the reports or is it to get our credit card info? Because all of these links have a .com and not a .vin like the article says. Also how can we bust these guys! I report everyone I get now, but I want to really want to find a way to get them into some serious trouble. Instead of just warning people lets find a way to fight back! Especially if people are actually falling for these scams.
Don't usPacoe …
December 18, 2019
Same thing happens to me, i am selling a truck here in California, and buyer contact me his name steve from 213 204 8114 he make me run vin info from this website after the i send him the report he nerver reply back, I thought he was serious buyer , but you nerver know , watch out, take care about this form to make you waist your money
Craigslist Seller
December 26, 2019
Every time I try to sell a vehicle, I get spam asking an inane question to establish a dialog (like "how are the rotors?" or "how many miles on your bike?" when the miles are listed in the ad). Next communication they go on to say they've been burned before, so they need to get a VIN report from a particular website, no matter what I respond. I now believe it's an AI spambot and answering inane questions just gets you to the next level of spambot response. In fact the last time I fell for this, I said, how about you get the VIN report and I'll take $25 off the asking price. The response was the "I've been burned, use this website" canned response, which makes me think there's no actual person behind it. Now I just report them to Craigslist as a scam, so their email address gets blacklisted, at least.
December 27, 2019
This saved me a lot of heartache! Thank you for this information. The first 2 responses I got on my craigslist ad were clearly exactly what this article was referring to.
Car Seller
March 04, 2020
Here is one I received on 12/29/19 when trying to sell a car on Craigslist. I did not bother visiting the site. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Do you have a current vehicle history report? If not, I suggest getting one at this website: The report is really inexpensive, only $19. Alot cheaper than a Carfax, which is $40. The report will show any major accidents, title issues, if it was stolen, if it was flooded, etc. You will get a lot more interest providing a report up front. Basically, showing that there is nothing to hide with the vehicle to potential buyers. It definitely helps sell faster. Let me know if this helps. Thank you.
stickyDon't us…
December 29, 2019
Glad I read this. Just had someone text me from two hours away claiming they were ready to buy and cash was not an issue. They just needed a copy of the NAP - National Auto Papers. I knew something was fishy when the person told me when THEY would come look at my truck.
March 04, 2020
Have vehicle listed on craigslist and scammer told me he need vehicle history report from nationalautopapers. com. Beware Didn’t fall for it.
January 02, 2020
I listed my Silverado on CL, and got a text from someone asking for the NAP. When I asked what that was, they said national auto papers. I sent the person a list of NMVTIS approved sites, and said I would pay for a report off of any of those sites. Text was from a 608 area code, and the gentleman claimed his name with Jimmy Smith. Jimmy said only NAP would work, since that's what he's most comfortable with. I don't want to list his number or email just in case i'm incorrect, but feels like a scam to me. Has anyone else used National Auto Papers? Is it a scam? Can't seem to find out much about it online.
January 18, 2020

In reply to by silveradoSeller

Hey Jimmy, I'm running into the same thing with a Stuart from Orlando, FL today. Thinking it's a scam which is a total bummer.
January 20, 2020

In reply to by silveradoSeller

It’s scam. Unfortunately I paid $33.99 for the NAP report, sent it to “Frank” and he disappeared. Don’t do it!
Audi Seller
January 29, 2020

In reply to by silveradoSeller

I listed a vehicle on KSL. I was contacted by the same Jimmy Smith on 1/25/2020. He asked for a report from NAP. This is the phone and email , +1 (801) 675-4087, jimsmith 4055 @ . I fell for it and paid $24. I was able to use pay pal. I told him I would give him the report when he came to see the car. He became angry. I told him I didn’t trust the site and I would give him CarFax. He never replied again.
Thomas Wayne, Jr.
January 04, 2020
Atitlecheck dot com is a similar scam. They spam online car sellers then once they have your information they sell it and you end up with fraudulent credit card charges. Beware
Just a seller
January 29, 2020
Thank you so much for this info. I sell cars every once in awhile and lately I have been getting texts about the vehicles. They want me to use their sites and I tell them that I dont have a computer and cant do it, but they can. Thank you!
June 02, 2020
Scams are prevalent, and not confined to Craigslist. I have a vehicle ad posted on CL as well as AutoTrader. I do not have a phone number listed in either ad. 1) Received an AutoTrader notification at 1:56 am indicating interest in my posted vehicle. When I responded to the noted email address at 6:13 am, I received the following response 31 hrs later from "Jessica Furman Long" jessicalong457@ . The delay made me think that I might have responded incorrectly to the initial request, so I sent a second reply a day later, this time including the body of the AutoTrader interest notification. I received the verbatim same response to my second email, 27 hrs later. "Okay, When do you suggest we (my mechanic and I) come for a test drive? Do you have maintenance records for the vehicle that we can look at when we come over? What about a vehicle history report? Do you have one? If you do, Please send it to me as soon as you can. If you don't, be kind enough to pull one so I can see the exact condition of the vehicle. I made payment for a car in the past only to find out it was previously damaged. The seller hid this information. I am just trying to be careful here. I am ready to pay for the vehicle after the test drive, no doubt about that, but I need to be certain of the vehicle's true condition first. Payment can be made on your terms at the bank or any how you wish to get paid. Just in case, you can get a report online at vincheckpro. org for less than $7 so my mechanic and I can get a clear picture of the vehicle's history before coming over. I ran a VIN check there before when I wanted to sell my Mercedes. Best Regards." I replied with a copy of the CarFax report I had pulled and that was the end of "Jessica's" inquiry. 2) Received a Craigslist reply from "Frankie Figueroa", with an offer (less than asking) for the vehicle, sight unseen: "Hello there. I was wondering if $XX,XXX would be a considerable offer. Of course cash, today... Please let me know at your earliest convenience. 206)851-3061" I replied via CL relay email that I would be happy to show the car. I don't expect to hear back.
March 04, 2020
new scam... vinfaxreport. com
March 04, 2020
I was just contacted by someone regarding my vehicle I have for sale, and referred me to Autoadviceblog. com to acquire a vehicle history report. Definitely seems scammy to me, keep your eyes open!
Avoid Scams
January 17, 2020
PAR or premium auto is a SCAM Text will ask where are you located despite it clearly in the ad, will say price is fine compared to others. We can meet at bank for cash/check. I need to check with my manager and find a ride down. They will never say where they are located. Asks for PAR prior to heading down. “Look its not an unreasonable request to ask for the history of something you expect me to pay you thousands of dollars for.. im not negotiating or haggling you. I will be taking time off work and paying someone to drive me down. Yours is the one i like most out of the three that I picked out. Let me know im ready to make a deal if you are” Avoid providing any vehicle report unless it is a verified CarFax. Buyers can negotiate or buy their own reports!
Oregon native
January 21, 2020
I read this article just in time. Thank you!
January 23, 2020
Great info! I have a potential buyer here in California requesting a Vin report from a website called .. Feels dubious , trust your gut people!
January 28, 2020
Today I received a text from John asking for a vehicle history report from NAP, National Auto Report. He said he was coming from Santa Barbara, Calif and needed this report before committing to make the drive. The phone number he is using is 818-208-6843. I told him I wasn’t going to spend the money until I had a serious buyer. That would require an in person visit to look at the truck, agree to a price if history is clear and at that time I would be glad to pull up a CarFax. He isn’t willing, glad I read this, obviously a scam as well .
March 04, 2020
I was just contacted by "George" claiming to be an individual wanting to buy my vehicle from Craigslist. He explained he was rushed for the purchase and asked me to run a credit report from National Auto History. Thinking it odd, I told him to run the VIN himself and he retorted he was not asking much for such a large purchase. I searched the number he texted from (480-422-5042) which is listed as a landline and I tried calling the # from another phone and it was a cellular carrier with automated answering message. I then called National Auto History at 10:00 PM (Mtn. Standard Time) and "Charles" answered at 1:00 am Delaware time. I asked for a manager and he said he was. I ran the scenario past him and he said only seven people work there and advised they would never do such a thing. He then asked me how he'd be able to get so much information from Arizona....not sure what that had to do with anything. I did send a text to that number stating I was aware of their scam and advised to stop with any further contact.
February 03, 2020
It took me getting burnt to learn. Got my debit card hacker. $300 later , changing my card, still not knowing “who”. Put my bike on Craig’s List. Got a lot of hits asking for a VIN report. They would “recommend” a website to get one. Told them I had one and would gladly forward it to them. The correspondence ended with potential buyer. Weird huh?
March 04, 2020
Scam is to get you to pay for report from national auto papers. com. We did order the report.the website look legit, and the report we got had some info we wanted to learn about the car history..but I got suspicious, and read up on the scams..sure enough, John got us.his phone number was local..208-261-2054. Well then had to cancel credit card and such.. Why hasn’t the FTC taken down the website yet? It’s been reported in this trail of responses in the past..
March 04, 2020
Here is the scam email. From: Wes Price Date: 2/8/20 4:49 PM (GMT-05:00) To: Subject: RE: Chevrolet Cruze Do you have a current vehicle history report? If not, I suggest getting one at this website: AutoAdviceBlog. com The report is really inexpensive, only $19. Alot cheaper than a Carfax, which is $40. The report will show any major accidents, title issues, if it was stolen, if it was flooded, etc. You will get a lot more interest providing a report up front. Basically, showing that there is nothing to hide with the vehicle to potential buyers. It definitely helps sell faster. Let me know if this helps. Thank you.
February 10, 2020
I got a text 2/09/2020 from 509-392-5315
March 04, 2020
JUST PUT MY CAR FOR SALE ON CL AND GOT A TEXT FROM 678.929.2355 wanting a report from govehiclereport. com. Can I report this to anyone?
FTC Staff
March 04, 2020

In reply to by Steve

You can help law enforcement by reporting it at The details you give go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

February 17, 2020
Thank you!! I am selling my vehicle on Craiglist and got 2 different text messages asking to send them a vehicle report that was not from Carfax. I got very suspicious and didn't provide any personal information and/or went to the website they were recommending. Then came across this article which confirmed my suspicion : )~ Here is one of the cell phone# 480.581.5118
March 04, 2020
nationalvehiclereport. com is the website they used.
February 24, 2020
If you're selling something, and someone wants to do anything other than put money in your hand for it, they don't really want to buy it! Selling a car? They should ask for the VIN and do their own research. Not your burden, and don't waste a second of your time on it!
Jorge Y
March 04, 2020
Always beware of someone offering full price for your vehicle without seeing it, who buys a car/truck sight unseen -SCAMMERS- so I received a similar request for me to get a report from searchavin so I told the person I had a Carfax, title, and all paperwork but they insisted on searchavin, I've sold a vehicle before where the person was getting a loan, first red flag is banks, credit unions don't loan on a vehicle over 10 years old or over 100,000 miles, also if it's legit and the potential buyers have inspected and want your vehicle if I remember correctly a copy or screen shot of the registration and your info, and then if the institution oks the loan you meet the person at the bank/credit union, anyway if a person is insisting on a specific website don't fall for it especially if they haven't seen your vehicle and are willing to pay full asking price, they are playing on your excitement of getting full asking price, Be careful and hope this helps someone.
K Wolf
March 04, 2020
Ran into this scam yesterday. The person was so persistent that I almost couldn’t believe it was a scammer. He had a whole back story, local number and address. I just couldn’t get over the need for a specific web link. I told him my concern for why I wouldn’t use it and he continued to be “interested” but had to have the “SAV” from searchavin. com before he would come see the car. I told him I wanted to speak to him on the phone before I purchased a report from Carfax only. That’s when the communication stopped.
Don't use your…
March 02, 2020
I got scammed
March 09, 2020
also got one via Craigslist today from 541 205 4713 using searchavin. com as SAV report site
March 09, 2020
"GregMorgan525 @" is still attempting to scam away on Craigslist car-for-sale ads as of March 2020!
March 20, 2020
Just to be clear, is giving out the VIN OK? Is there any personal info attached to that?
June 02, 2020
Vehiclereportpro. com is a big scam!
June 02, 2020
I posted an add on craigslist and a guy texted me enquiring about the car and after several text exchanges, he/she said I will stop by tomorrow but before I drive to you can you send me a vehicle history report and asked me to get the report from nationalvininfo. com and when I open that website it pretty much looks very legit. However I never heard of that website and ran a google domain search, you know what the website created 20 minutes back or so. The point of the message the scammers have many ways to get the money, so my advise is be vigilant to those kind of scams.
June 02, 2020
Today jimmy , Kept insisting that I go to this specified website. nationalvechicleaudit. com
June 02, 2020
Here is a new one to be aware of. 801-895-3955 Looking for the NVA from nationalvehicleaudit . com Scum of the earth, these scammers.
June 02, 2020
I have a "John" with voip number 714-406-5590 insisting that I provide a report from nationalvehicleaudit. com. Same story as in other comments, thousands of dollars, time of work and blahblah. I recognized the scam immediately.
June 02, 2020
i just got a text wanting me to get nationalvehicleaudit. com the person insisted i send the results before meeting. im glad i checked.
June 02, 2020
Here's another scam VIN website for the list. Posted a motorcycle for sale on classifieds. Kevin at (435) 538-3508 texted me saying he wanted to buy it, would talk with his work to arrange to come by to see it tomorrow, and get someone to drive him down. He then asked for the MHR papers. When I said I had no idea what he was talking about, he replied: "This is the papers you as the owner can get from online vincheckeronlinemhvr. com o once you send it il arrange time off. Im Kevin whats your name?" I didn't bother replying to him.
watch out for …
April 22, 2020
I am selling a truck on Craigslist in Texas and just got the same message that many are posting on here from coreynay256@ It is verbatim about someone saying that he husband would love it and to reply back with my email address. He reaches out and says that he loves it and just need to get a VIN check from www. reportvincheck. /. I sent him a CarFax instead and the reply was that I clearly misunderstood the request and his lender would only accept the VIN check from the link he sent me. Luckily, I have grown very skeptical of everything that comes my way and didn't give him anything that would benefit him. Please be careful out there.
April 15, 2020
I have a Truck listed on Craig's List.....Yep you guessed it I've been contacted by a guy named "Danny" 614-385-3626 to make sure I have the truck still for sale & once I answer yes he asked for the location and best time to meet. Once that is established he asked for the NVI paper to do the transaction. I'm like what is an NVI paper? He said to go to NationalVinInfo .com and email him the report to I explained to him I already ran an AutoCheck from Experian, a CarFax & a NICB reports. He said, well he needed me to run this other one because he didn't trust the ones I have & if I was a serious seller I would have no problem doing it since he was not negotiating the price (another red flag). I told him if he was a serious buyer to come here, run the report he wanted himself & I would reimburse him the $25.00 (cost of report) We've gone back & forth for about the last 2 1/2 hours!! Telling me I must be trying to hide something from him about the truck and to just be honest because he's not going to take the day off work to come purchase the truck with out that particular report. Then when I tell him to stop contacting me if the reports I ALREADY have aren't good enough he says he doesn't understand what I'm saying & to just run the report he's asking for and email it to him. Again I've told him I would not run that report & again he is still telling me he is buying the truck but first I have to email him that specific report. I think I've told him 3 or 4 times to stop contacting me if the reports I ALREADY have are not good enough or the reimbursement to him of the $25.00 for him to run the report are not good enough to stop contacting me. He is still trying. This started at 2:05pm & it is now 4:34pm. BEWARE!!
June 02, 2020
Please be super careful! Theses crooks are no joke. They insist you get a vehicle history report by clicking on the website they provide you with in their text message. Watch out for this: titleandloanreport. com. They also want to pay you via Paypal. PLEASE dont make that mistake. Cars are not covered under Paypal buyer or seller protection!!!! Do your research first!!!