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Buyer Beware!

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August 4, 2014


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Buyer Beware!

Buyer Beware

The Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) and it’s counterpart in Alberta, AMVIC have issued a warning to Canadians hoping to purchase vehicles from Arizona. They are warning that there is a fake dealership in the U.S. that is preying on Canadians. Their targets appear to be Canadians seeking bargain prices on high-end or exotic cars.

The bogus firm, called Double Eagle Motors advertises on popular automotive buy and sell websites, offering too good to be true prices on exotic or high-end vehicles. This sophisticated scam targets Canadians specifically. Their phone number appears to be a Canadian number, helping to generate trust with Canadian callers.

When a victim of this scam calls, they are told that the vehicle is now in the U.S. and they are referred to the phoney dealer’s website. The Double Eagle Motor’s website pretends to be a Phoenix-based dealership, but it does not actually exist.

An Ottawa man was nearly scammed by these thieves, after searching for a Ferrari. He found one listed by the scammers selling for $25,000 less than he could find it for in Canada. The ad listed a Montreal telephone number, but when he called, he was told that the car was sitting in Phoenix, AZ, and directed to the Double Eagle Motors website. Fortunately, after receiving the dealer’s contract he became suspicious, and contacted the OMVIC before sending the requested $42,000 deposit. “I was fortunate,” he said, “but this operation is very convincing and I don’t want to see others victimized.”

Investigation and prosecution is difficult due to the multiple jurisdictions involved. This scam is very similar to ones discovered in 2012 related to the phoney Ambient Auto Centre and Sprint Luxury Auto, both based out of Oklahoma City. At least five Canadians lost more than $200,000 to the Ambient Auto Centre scam.

The lesson we sometimes forget: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

By Linda

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