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ADOT urging car buyers, sellers to be cautious

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Transportation is reminding car buyers and sellers to beware if they are performing transactions outside of dealerships.

Each year, ADOT receives hundreds of complaints from people who have bought or sold a car privately and have had problems later, according to ADOT spokesman Harold Sanders.

“There are a number of fraudulent schemes out there,” he said.

Sanders said buyers need to make sure everything is on the up-and-up, including the vehicle’s vehicle identification number.

“They need to check to see that the VIN number that’s on the dashboard on the top left matches the mandatory federal sticker that’s on the door jam,” he said.

Confirming the VIN and checking the car’s title could help buyers avoid purchasing cars that may have been stolen. He said asking for and checking the seller’s driver’s license is also important to make sure the seller is legally allowed to be selling that car.

Sanders also recommends checking the vehicle for liens at ServiceArizona.com and getting a vehicle history report before buying.

As for sellers, Sanders said they need to make sure to conduct business in safe areas and make sure the payment they receive is legitimate.

“They need to be able to verify at a financial institution that the currency they’ve been given is actually valid, same thing for personal checks,” he said.

He added sellers should also not let potential buyers test drive vehicles alone.