Indiana State Police warning of vehicle purchase scam

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INDIANA (WEHT) – The Indiana State Police has become aware of eight confirmed cases that have occurred throughout the state of Indiana recently exhibiting similar fraudulent activities. All the cases have the following elements:

  • A person wants to purchase an ATV, side by side, lawn mower, dirt bike, etc. over the phone.
  • Provided driver’s licenses and credit cards are fraudulent.
  • Credit card transactions might be declined, additional credit cards may be used for the entire purchase, or charges may be disputed later by the actual credit card owner.
  • The suspect’s story is often that they are buying the vehicle for someone else, who is not present.
  • The suspect usually brings a moving van/rental truck to transport a fraudulently purchased vehicle.

The Indiana State Police provided some preventative tips for businesses:

  • Be suspicious of over-the-phone transactions, especially if the caller wants to rush the purchase.
  • Review purchase policies and consider mandating that the person who calls in the order must be the one who picks up the vehicle.
  • Make sure the person picking up the vehicle brings the credit card(s) used to make the transaction as well as a DL or ID.
  • Verify the identity of the purchaser at the time of pickup and be aware of the use of fake IDs.
  • Make sure the credit card transactions will go through and not be disputed. Consider holding the purchase for three to four days until the transaction is verified.

If you believe someone has attempted to fraudulently purchase a vehicle from your business, please contact your local law enforcement or Indiana State Police Post.  To find the post nearest to you, please follow this link https://www.in.gov/isp/2382.htm.

(This story was originally published on March 5, 2021)

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