Scammed by a Car Dealer? What to Do Next

Estimated read time 6 min read

Car buying is a big investment and one that many people look forward to. But unfortunately, not all car dealers are honest and trustworthy. Car dealer scams are a prevalent issue and can happen to anyone, regardless of how savvy of a consumer you are. Scammers use a variety of tactics to deceive and cheat customers, from hiding vehicle defects to falsifying financing documents.

Car dealer scams can take many forms. Some dealers may advertise a car at a low price, but then add on hidden fees or charges. Others may sell a car with existing mechanical problems or accidents that are not disclosed to the customer. Some dealers may even falsify financing documents, leading to the customer paying more for the car than they initially agreed to.

What to Do if Scammed by Car Dealership? It’s important to be aware of the potential for car dealer scams and know what to do if you find yourself in a situation where you’ve been scammed. Taking action can help protect yourself and others from being taken advantage of by unscrupulous dealers. In this article, we will walk you through the steps you need to take if you’ve been scammed by a car dealer.

From understanding your rights to gathering evidence and taking legal action, we’ll provide you with the information you need to take control of the situation and get the resolution you deserve.

Understand your rights

When it comes to car dealer scams, it’s important to know your rights as a consumer. There are federal and state laws in place that protect car buyers from fraud and deception. Understanding these laws can help you navigate the process of seeking a resolution if you’ve been scammed.

Federal & state laws that protect car buyers

At the federal level, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Used Car Rule requires dealers to post a Buyer’s Guide in every used car they offer for sale.

The Buyers Guide must disclose whether the car is being sold “as is” or with a warranty, and must list any major mechanical and electrical systems that are not working. Additionally, many states have their own consumer protection laws that provide additional rights and protections for car buyers. For example, some states have a “Lemon Law” that provides a remedy for consumers who purchase a car that has serious defects that cannot be repaired.

How to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the state attorney general’s office

If you believe that a car dealer has scammed you, it’s important to file a complaint with the appropriate government agency.The FTC and the state attorney general’s office both have the power to investigate and take action against dealers who engage in fraudulent or deceptive practices. To file a complaint with the FTC, you can do it online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP. To file a complaint with your state attorney general, you can find the contact information on the National Association of Attorneys General website.

Providing as much detail as possible, including any evidence you have such as contracts, emails, and photographs, can help support your complaint and increase the chances of a successful resolution.

Gather evidence

If you’ve been scammed by a car dealer, it’s important to gather as much evidence as possible to support your case.

Having strong evidence can make it more likely that the dealer will take your complaint seriously, and can also be crucial if you decide to take legal action.

Keep all documents related to the transaction

The first step in gathering evidence is to keep all documents related to the transaction, such as the sales contract, financing documents, and any other paperwork related to the purchase.

These documents can provide important information, such as the price you paid for the car, the terms of the sale, and any warranties or guarantees offered by the dealer.

Take note of any false or misleading statements made by the dealer

If the dealer made any false or misleading statements, it’s important to take note of these. This could include statements about the car’s condition, such as claiming that the car has never been in an accident, or about the financing, such as promising a low interest rate. Keep records of any oral or written communication, including emails, texts, and phone calls.

Take photographs of any defects in the car or damage before you take delivery

If the car you purchased has any defects or damage, it’s important to document this before you take delivery. Take photographs of any issues and make sure to note the date and time the photos were taken. This will help prove that the problems existed before you took possession of the car.

Having a clear, concise and well-documented evidence of the fraud will help you to build a strong case. Whether you decide to take legal action or not. It will also help you to negotiate with the dealer to reach a fair resolution.

Contact the dealer

Once you’ve gathered evidence of the scam, the next step is to contact the dealer and explain the problem. By doing this, you’re giving the dealer an opportunity to resolve the issue and make things right. Even if the dealer is not willing to resolve the issue, keeping a record of your communication can be important. If you decide to take legal action later.

Outline the issue and request a solution

When you contact the dealer, be clear and concise about the problem. Explain what the dealer did wrong, and be specific about what you want them to do to resolve the issue. Be sure to provide evidence to support your complaint. Such as photographs of the car’s defects or copies of any false or misleading statements made by the dealer.

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Make sure to document every interaction with the dealer

It’s important to keep a record of all communication with the dealer. Whether it’s in writing, over the phone, or in person.

Keep a log of the date, time, and the person you spoke with, and make note of any promises or commitments the dealer makes. This will be helpful if you need to escalate the complaint to a higher authority or take legal action.

Contacting the dealer is the first step in trying to resolve the issue. But don’t be surprised if they don’t take your complaint seriously or don’t want to resolve it.

Sometimes, dealers may not be willing to resolve the issue and in that case. It’s important to be prepared to take the next steps, such as consulting with a consumer protection lawyer.


Being scammed by a car dealer can be a frustrating and stressful experience. However, by taking the right steps and understanding your rights as a consumer. You can take control of the situation and get the resolution you deserve. This guide is written by Techshill, stay connected for more exciting articles.

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