Common Scams to Avoid When Buying or Selling a Used Car in New Jersey

Buying or selling a used car can be exciting if done in the right manner. However, it is equally a delicate process as the automotive market is not untouched by scams. Thus, whether you are in the market for a used car or looking to sell one, being aware of common scams is crucial to protect yourself and your investment.

In this blog, we’ll explore five common scams to watch out for when buying or selling a used car in New Jersey. Read further to learn more about the topic.

5 Common Scams to Avoid When Buying or Selling a Used Car in New Jersey

  1. Online Payment Scams:

This scam often targets sellers. Let’s understand this with the help of an example. A potential buyer, often from overseas, expresses interest in purchasing the car without inspecting it in person. They might be unable to visit in person due to various reasons, such as being out of the country or deployed in the military. This situation gives the scammer a chance to commit fraud while making online payments, usually through a service that seems legitimate.

How to Avoid?

Always insist on in-person transactions. If a buyer is unable to see the car physically, consider it a red flag. Avoid accepting online payments, especially those that seem unusual or involve unconventional payment methods.

  1. Title Washing:

This scam targets buyers. Title washing involves manipulating a car’s title to conceal its damage history, such as from accidents or floods. Dishonest sellers may move a car between states with lenient title laws to get a clean title, hiding its troubled past.

How to Avoid?

It is crucial to obtain a vehicle history report from a reputable source to avoid this issue while buying or selling a used car in New Jersey. Services like Carfax or AutoCheck can provide valuable insights into a car’s history, including accidents and title issues.

  1. Escrow Services Scam:

In this scam, a fake escrow service is introduced to either the buyer or seller. The scammer poses as an escrow service, claiming they will hold the payment securely until both parties are satisfied with the transaction. Once money is transferred to the fake escrow account, it disappears, and the scammer vanishes.

How to Avoid?

Use only reputable and well-known escrow services. Verify the legitimacy of the escrow service independently before proceeding with any transaction.

  1. Overpayment Scam:

This scam primarily targets sellers. A potential buyer expresses interest and agrees to purchase the car. They sent a check for more than the agreed-upon amount, claiming it was a mistake and asking the seller to refund the difference. The original cheque bounces, leaving the seller without both the car and the refunded money.

How to Avoid?

Be cautious with overpayments and refund requests. Always ensure that payments have cleared before transferring any funds.

  1. Fake Cheque Scams:

This scam can affect both buyer and seller while buying or selling a used car in New Jersey. A scammer poses as a legitimate buyer, often sending a cheque for the car. The cheque appears to clear, and the seller releases the car, only to find out later that the cheque is fake.

How to Avoid?

Always verify the authenticity of any cheque received. Always use secure payment methods and be wary of deals that seem too good to be true while buying or selling a used car in New Jersey.


Navigating the used car market requires vigilance and awareness of potential scams. Whether you are buying or selling a used car in New Jersey, exercising caution, verifying information, and using secure payment methods can help you avoid falling victim to common scams.

By staying informed and taking necessary precautions, you can ensure a smooth and safe transaction in the used car market.

At NewJerseyCash4Cars we dedicate ourselves in making it an easy task for you to sell your car and get fast cash for the car. Over the years we’ve provide hassle-free car buying service in New Jersey. Selling your car in New Jersey is not an easy task, whether you are trying to sell your car privately or selling it to a dealer. In both scenarios, you will go through car selling hassles. This is where we come in!