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Kelley Blue Book warns of car-buying scam

September 21, 2011 | 10:57 am

Kelley Blue Book corporate office
Auto information company Kelley Blue Book is warning buyers not to fall victim to a scam using a fake version of its KBB.com website.

This is the same problem that has plagued rival auto information company Edmunds.com in recent years.

In both instances, the perpetrators are creating websites that imitate the look, feel and naming conventions of the companies and solicit money from car buyers.

Shoppers are sucked in through an attractive price offered for a car. They are then told to deposit a partial or full payment for the car in a special escrow account that supposedly operates as a guaranteed buyer-protection program by the auto information company.

They are told that after making the payment they will be shipped the car and have five days to get it checked out by a mechanic and test drive the vehicle.

But in reality, the money disappears and they never receive the car.

Both Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds provide online car reviews, price information and other car shopping tools but don’t sell vehicles or provide escrow services for automotive transactions.

Click here for tips from the FBI on how buyers can protect themselves from phony online car-buying scams or fraudulent buyer protection programs.

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-- Jerry Hirsch
Twitter.com/LATimesJerry

Photo: Kelly Blue Book corporate office. Credit: Kelley Blue Book.

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