AG Brnovich Warns Consumers about Purchasing Vehicle History Reports through Suspicious Websites

PHOENIX -- Attorney General Mark Brnovich is warning consumers about a scam involving the purchase of vehicle history reports through suspicious websites.

The scam starts when you post your car for sale online. The scammer, posing as an interested buyer, calls you and then quickly hangs up. Later, they send you a text message saying the call was disconnected, but they want to see a vehicle history report on the car’s vehicle identification number (VIN).  They tell you to get the report from a specific website and provide the link to the site. Once you click on the link, you’re asked to put in your credit card information and other personal information that could expose you to identity theft. After you pay the fee, the scammer says they changed their mind and is no longer interested in buying the car.

“Just like we’ve seen in other cases, scammers can quickly set up new websites under different names,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “Consumers need to do their homework before paying for a vehicle history report.”

General Brnovich offers the following consumer tips:

  • Visit the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) website to get a list of government-approved providers of vehicle history reports.
  • Be cautious if a potential buyer asks you to buy something from a specific website as a condition for a sale.
  • Keep your guard up when talking to a person, even a potential buyer, from an unknown phone number. Look for red flags.
  • Ask your telephone service provider what they can do to block or label likely spam calls.

If you believe you are a victim of consumer fraud, you can file a complaint online at the Arizona Attorney General’s website. You can also contact the Consumer Information and Complaints Unit in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, and outside of the metro areas at (800) 352-8431.