HONOLULU (KHON2) — Looking to buy a used car? The Better Business Bureau has a warning if you’re doing so online especially if the seller wants to use a third-party company to ship your vehicle to the islands.

The BBB said the used car scam goes something like this: you’ve found a previously-owned vehicle online and made an offer.

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The seller, who is actually a scammer, said everything looks good, but they unexpectedly had to move!

“However, they can still get the car back to them,” said Roseann Freitas of the Better Business Bureau. “All they have to do is just work with this third party. and they’ll be able to transport the vehicle. Well, the challenge becomes this third party is also part of the con. Once you’ve sent your money, it’s gone.”

Not every third-party company works with scammers, and in fact, we’re quite used to them in Hawaii.

The BBB said if you’ve never heard of, or can’t find any information on the company the seller is trying to ship your vehicle through, it might be a scam.

“Lots of people have to buy a car and have it shipped here,” explained Freitas. “The key here though, always comes back to knowing who you’re doing business with.”

Buying a used car in person comes with it’s own warnings from experts; checking the vehicle history, paint damage, tire condition and so on.

The BBB said seeing the car in-person and giving it a spin yourself, is the best bet.

“But once you start to shop online, it’s a different ballgame because you’re not actually able to see the person, see the car or test drive it,” noted Freitas.

So if you see a good deal for a car online, the first thing to do is get the seller on the phone. Ask them questions about the car, and if the call taker gets aggressive or gives vague answers, it’s probably a scam.

Don’t give into threats or pressure to act fast. A legit car salesman will sell you a vehicle whether it’s today, tomorrow or next month.

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