Craigslist Customer Swindled Out of $75k After Discovering His New Ford Bronco Was Stolen
Buying a new car these days is already a stress-inducing experience for some customers. Unfortunately for one Arizona man, purchasing a new Ford Bronco via a Craigslist ad resulted in him out of $75,000 after discovering that it was actually stolen.
In a report by AZ Family, one Phoenix resident was in the market for a Ford Bronco when one promising unit appeared online. Granted that he found it on Craigslist, his guard was understandably up. But he proceeded with his inquiry. According to the ad, it had Alaskan license plates and the odometer only had a few thousand miles on it, as one might expect from a slightly-used new Bronco. After receiving a clean Carfax report, as well as running the title through a third-party MVD office, the vehicle’s VIN checked out. Or so he thought.
How Was He Scammed Out Of $75k?
As it turned out, the VIN on the Ford Bronco’s title was fraudulent, and the MVD office did not recognize any red flags. “If there was any issues, the VIN would have flagged,” the customer told AZ Family. “I’m assuming in the system that they have. And it didn’t.” The truth was that the sellers had changed out the vehicle’s original VIN for a fake one, and the state’s auto-title computer system failed to notice.
Unfortunately doing everything he thought he was supposed to do, this Arizona man learned of the truth when he decided to trade the Ford Bronco in for a pickup truck at his local dealership. One employee noticed that something was off with the SUV’s VIN, later leading to the discovery that it was actually changed after being stolen off the Ford factory’s lot in Detroit.
After police seized the stolen Bronco, this Arizona man found himself out without a car, as well as the $75,000 he spent on it.
How Did He Discover That The Ford Bronco Was Stolen?
It turns out that the Ford Bronco is part of a larger auto theft ring stemming from Detroit, swindling customers out of thousands of dollars from states like Tennessee, New Mexico, and Alaska.
Because a local dealership was able to discover that the SUV was stolen when a third-party MVD was not, the Arizona Attorney General very critical of the Arizona DOT’s lack of oversight in its failure to perform its duties properly after there have been recent reports of individuals receiving licenses, IDs, or auto titles without the correct paperwork.
If there is anything future buyers can learn from this story, it is that places like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace can be unpredictable. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Just ask the guy who lost $26k of his life savings after getting scammed out of a stolen Dodge Challenger Hellcat. If you are planning on making a large purchase through either of these sites, don’t be afraid to double-check and triple-check everything before turning yourself into another statistic.