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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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April 24, 2020
Anytime I place a vehicle for sale on Craigslist I get these messages. Often from a person using a common first and last name, using overly polite and proper language, and by the 3rd email they get around to asking me to go to a website to get a vehicle report, which they say is all that is keeping them from buying my vehicle. I then just tell them I will be glad to, once they send me a $500 non-refundable cash deposit. That is usually the last I hear from them.
April 26, 2020
I just had someone trying to get me to do it in DV Reports. Glad I read this article. Thanks.
April 30, 2020
I reply that I have a carfax and will let them look at it when they come to see the car. Never hear from them again.
Joe Medina
June 02, 2020
Had a guy with a 614 area code tell me to get him a report for the vehicle history. I told him that I had a carfax, but he wanted a NVI. When I asked him what a NVI was, he said it stands for NationalVInInfo. com I'm so happy I'm smarter than the average bear. This was for sure a scam and I the person gets hit by a bus.
May 05, 2020
This is a very informative article. Thanks for this article.
June 02, 2020
Very useful article. My car is listed on both craigslist and auto trader. I first received a poorly worded email from a "Todd" for the craigslist ad. He wanted me to get a report from AutoAdviceBlog. com. Fortunately because of this article and some other resources I was already aware of this scam. Two days later I received a text from a "William" for the auto trader ad. Again it was poorly written and asking for info clearly listed on the ad. I politely replied. He then told me that he was willing to buy the vehicle at asking price the next day, and was going to give me cash or cashier's check. I initially suspected it to be a cashier check fraud, and asked what bank he was going to use, so could meet there. I asked if we can talk on the phone. He ignored those questions and asked for the car's "NVI papers". I couldn't find any such thing on the internet and asked him what those were. He told me that it was nationalvehiclesinfo. com and it was for owners only. But that it not true as all it asks for is a email, phone and VIN. The website seems bogus as you can add anything such as "abcde" in the VIN search and it will tell you that it has found "multiple reports for this VIN. For payment it takes you to paypal. I told "William" that I can give him Carfax or since he already has the VIN for the car and he can search it himself. He then asked me to use "buyandsellusedcars. net" as it is "free" and to send him the link. That is a strange website that requires you create a new listing and get a free report if you include your VIN. After having my fun for the evening, I thanked "william" for entertainment and providing links for these bogus websites to add to this article.
June 02, 2020
I started getting suspicious. Here is the email I received from Kyle Ross: "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." I had already purchased a report from AutoChecker. Guessing he isn't really going to purchase my vehicle!
May 09, 2020
Thanks for saving me today from a scammer who was doing exactly what the warning said. The phone number he used is ‭+1 (410) 618-3828‬.
June 02, 2020
I was fooled to use vehiclereports. that looks like a scam and now they got my personal details
May 25, 2020
I had this happen to me on 12/27/19. I ordered my VIN check for $9.99 from VINAUDIT.COM . I received the report and yet there was no charge from them on my credit card, but instead that same day a charge of $150 from JULIANS VIN SERVICE. I attempted to contact them with no response. My bank looked into and eventually credited my account for $140. BEWARE!
June 02, 2020
I listed my car on Craigslist yesterday and today received an email from JimCook545( asking me to email directly because Craigslist communications weren't working. Then he asked if the car had been in any accidents. Then he sent this "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." I was wary, and it looks like I was right about it being a scam.
June 06, 2020

In reply to by LS

Same one except he used Carl Cook What a joke Scammers wherever you turn
June 02, 2020
Mine was from an "Alex" at a Portland OR area code number asking for a report from NATIONALVINREPORTS. COM on a truck posted on Craigslist.
June 02, 2020
I just put truck for sale in Craigslist , 1. I got an email at 3 am from Someone with so many mistakes with words through Craigslist link listed his email , when I emailed him Beverlysfranco5@ about the truck he replied asking my full name address ph and only option to pay is Check once check is cleared( fraudulent check clears then weeks later will be determined by bank its fraudulent check ...) he will send mover to drive the truck ...I replied him “no check “so far he hasn’t replied yet. 2- A guy named Larry emailed thru the CL link then lists his email address larrywood747@ . Asks about if the truck had accidents, and send me link to check vehicles report costs only $19.99 cheaper than carfax $40 on AutoAdviceBlog . . Once in the website it takes it to vinhistory. rt to get the the report. Luckily, I have just googled scam then found these reports before I pay for it. Thanks everyone reporting and FTC .
June 02, 2020
Got 2 responses right away to my car ad. First one said he didn't trust online sales, wanted verification of accident history from checkupvinreport. com The second wanted me to go to AutoAdviceBlog. com I sent them links to this article.
June 02, 2020
Just scammed by Ken White - kenwhite975@ posing as a potential buyer. He followed the same scenario as all the others. Go to AutoAdviceBlog. and for ONLY $19.99 they will give you two reports about your vehicle. Cheaper than Carfax’s $40.00. But what they really want is your Credit Card info to scam and SELL. They are EVIL!!! CAUTION!!!
Mark H
June 02, 2020
Super helpful. I'm currently selling a used car online and had this very type of thing come up. Glad this information was here, and I called the scammer out on it.
totally disgusted!
June 09, 2020
I am so disgusted about this! We received a message about our car listed on Craig's List saying: "I would like to make sure everything is OK and legit because I'm taking a loan for the purchase. For that I need a Vin report from reportvincheck. com/ which my lender requires. After you send it to me I will forward it to him and get back to you as soon as he gives me the OK. I'm a stickler for having all the right paperwork before making any decision, also I'm a bit concerned about getting ripped off." WOW....who's getting "ripped off?" He goes by "Danny Spiller." THANK YOU, FTC, for helping us know this is a total scam! It makes me sick to think there are such horrible people out there!
June 09, 2020
Posted to Craigs list and this fellow tried to sell me a vehicle check CarolCook575 @
July 01, 2020
Selling my motorcycle, asked to get a history check form this website, http:// vindungeons. /, does everyone know if this is a legit or a scam site?
June 14, 2020
Thank you for this info. I am selling my car and had someone ask for a report. I told them the listing is what it is and should have the info needed to purchase the info. I feel better knowing this!
July 01, 2020
nationalvin reports. is one of the sites trying to scam me into buying their report, even though I already provided the Car Fax.
Ed & Judith
June 29, 2020
Thanks for the info. We saw a 2009 Tacoma for $1400, email the seller (amanda78willson@ ) she told us a sad story about her 4month dead husband and because she is leaving for medical service with the Army the new price is $1,200. She sent pictures but then told us she made arrangements with eBay to ship the car because she is already at the base... eBay will ship it and we can test it for 5 days.... SCAM SCAM.
June 29, 2020
Got an inquiry on my car for sale by a Fred Young549@ who promptly ask me to go to Auto Adviceblog. for carfax sheet. Fortunately I went to FTC website to research first. Thanks for the government doing their job.
July 01, 2020
I got an email from a prospective car buyer who told me to email his at bradwood847@ . Then he emailed me trying to get me to buy a car history report for $19 from autoadviceblog. . Sounds fishy to me.
JMon't use you…
July 02, 2020
I got several texts from someone about my car listed on Craigslist - St Louis area. He wanted me to go to the website about getting a NRA report. I sent him this FTC report. He sent back another website about looking out for auto buyer scams. He never responded again. His supposed name is Todd at 314-254-1435
July 06, 2020
I just almost fell victim to that site I am selling my car privately and had someone write me about getting a report from that site.. Thankfully i went online to check the site to then see it is a scam site
James C
July 14, 2020
I just got a reply to my truck ad acting interested but suggesting I use this site for Car report. Beware: His email is kenwhite975 @
July 14, 2020
Had this just happen to me on craigslist. Guy said his name is James. He asked for a RV report. I never heard of that and said I had a carfax report and to give me his email. He insisted I go to historyauditreport. . I said no, I already paid for a report and he could pay for it himself if that site was so important to him. He gave me some attitude and wanted to argue. None of it made sense so I ran a search on the site and found this article. I replied back to him and said nice try and sent him the link, lol. Be careful out there. If it feels weird or they say something weird... it's weird. Walk away.
A Person
August 07, 2020
Still going. They'll agree to the price and then tell you they need the report before getting time off work or something. Just happened in Utah from the number 801-477-7936. Looks like a Google Voice number from the lookup (Qwest "Landline") The domain they sent is only 9 days old historycheckreports . com. They're using Paypal as their processor DBA "Art Worms" for the business name on the backend. Looks like a 1st year web design student made it who hasn't discovered Kartra or one of the other page builders that my kid sister could use (Not affiliated, making a point) I saw another ad on the Classified site I posted on with an edit saying not to get reports from a series of numbers that included this one. I'm glad I didn't. This would be hard to go after since anyone could request a vehicle report and then not be interested for whatever reason. They just own the site which probably doesn't actually pull legitimate data. If they do this is some black hat lead gen
August 07, 2020
Number 1 (630)-425-4510 messaged me about getautoreport. com. Big scam. AVOID.
August 07, 2020
I'm currently selling my car and I've been contacted by a supposed woman who is very intrested in buying my car. The only caveat is, she requires a car history report from a service called cardetailcheck. com. I attempted to Google search this service and could not find a website. I typed a text message to this person and said I cannot find cardetailcheck. com on Google. After sending the message the hyperlink created in the text thread activated a drop down. I clicked on it and it took me directly to a Vin running service I attempted to get a history report through that service and to pay using pay pal. Pay pal rejected the transaction and said this is not a recognized service and they have no website. I'm grateful to pay pal for helping me avoid a scam.
August 07, 2020
Wow. I'm trying to sell my car on Craigslist and received a text from an "Alex" telling me that he wants to pay cash for the car but first wants ME to purchase a history report from cardetailcheck. com...which he says is cheaper than Carfax, It sounded fishy so I Googled the website and the first results were from the FTC and other scam-alert sites mentioning this scam. Please let me know if you can suggest a way to report this person to FTC, BBB or other authority.
August 07, 2020
Exact same message about wanting car history from reportvincheck. com.. I"m selling a car on craigslist and within one day I got a e-mail from a "Jimena" asking for my e-mail for her step-father... His name was Marco Antico and his email was heilbronner1985@ ..... he used the line "I know it's only $24.99 but if I have to run 5 reports until I find an OK report, where will I be?"...….blah, blah, blah...exact same script as below..... I played his game for a few days but never attempted to pay for a report from that place. He stopped emailing after 3 days.
July 22, 2020
Yep - this just happened to me from a CarlCook525 wanting me to request a car report from autoadviceblog dot com. Thankfully I googled before going to that site. UGH!
August 07, 2020
I got different requests in 2 days. 1. historyauditreport. com 2. dependableusreport. com Everything went down just like you said. My Carfax report was not good enough for both. I fell for the first one but not the second one. All I have to say is “GERKS”.
August 07, 2020
Text message came from Andrew 512-552-1998 Scammer insisted on using history auditreport. com $25 charge via PayPal. SCAM !!!!!!
July 23, 2020
Thank you so much I kinda thought it might be a scam when they asked me to go to vin check Thumbs up
August 07, 2020
Yes had this happen did not understand why other car reporting reports would work and why needed to be this specific web site vehiclere gistryreports. com. concluded it was a scam to send them money. Phone number was 802-231-1105.
August 07, 2020
I was contacted to use VINinvetigator. com. I was able to receive my money back. Please don't use VINinvestigator. com
August 07, 2020
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. I received an email from a jerk saying he was interested in my motorcycle I replied to contact number in add...he sent back that he wanted to come see the bike on Friday could I get him a report from this site.. . us-upvin.b us... I googled it & found this site...THANK YOU for protecting us
August 09, 2020
Your info saved me from this scam. Very grateful
August 10, 2020
This just happened to me this weekend and I am always so good about sniffing out the scams. I felt uneasy about it from the beginning but made the mistake of overlooking that feeling. I did end up paying for a vehicle history report through and it used paypal to pay $26 to "Art Worms." Already changed all my passwords to all my financial institutions, marked the charge as fraud, deleted my CC's from Paypal and contacted Paypal and my bank. I can't believe I walked in to this trap. I sure hope the reprecussions don't go any deeper than they already have. I hate people like this.
August 11, 2020
Just had someone try this scam on me today, acts like he's really interested in the car and then says provide me a vehicle history report and gives me a website. I told him to buy it himself if he wanted one on the car. Sad there is so many people trying to waste our time and steal our money.
August 20, 2020
RonWilson484@ is also a scammer. Contacted me regarding a Craigslist car listing with this message “ Do you have a current vehicle history report? If not, I suggest getting one at this website: AutoAdviceBlog. 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.
October 08, 2020

In reply to by Jacknorthstream

Here is the email I got today. SCAM written all over it!!! 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 global title report 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 $25 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. regards P.S if is about the money i will add the $25 to the final price
August 17, 2020
Thank you for this thread. I almost fell for it from a 727-547-3656 sending me to a site nationalvinreports dot com.
August 23, 2020
I had this happen to me. Cost me 26.00. Can you tell me how to turn them into fraud line for somewhere.
December 03, 2020
I listed my car for sale on Craigslist and this potential buyer names Ashley is keen on buying and insisting me to run a report on Told her no, I have CarFax report available to show her if she likes to meet up to look at car. She said she has to have the report she asked for first and even said she's serious enough to take off work to bring a friend to look at car tomorrow. Her area code is 559 apparently from Fresno, CA which is far from where I live in Phoenix , AZ. You can get whatever number nowadays with google voice and all. It's her persistence on that one report that gave it away she's trying to scam me. Don't fall for this crafty scammers!!!
January 04, 2021
Yes, the scam is still alive. Just received an innocent email from a wife who liked my car, but requested mu personal email for her husband to ask the mechanical questions and coordinate the viewing. I did, not thinking too much then. In the next email (from Husband), he asked some very generic questions, BUT stressed that he was ready to view right away. His response was then the vin look up because he only wanted to deal with legit sellers, but again was ready to view immediately. That was the trigger, and I put a stop to the charade then. Thanks for the heads-up!