Laredoans scammed out of thousands of dollars after buying vehicles on Facebook Marketplace, police say

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 4:23 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tx. (KGNS) - Some Laredoans suffer substantial financial losses, losing thousands of dollars after falling victim to fraudulent car sales on the Facebook marketplace.

Now, the Laredo Police Department Auto Theft Task Force is warning the community about this trend.

The fraudsters often provide counterfeit identification and forged titles to make stolen cars appear legitimate.

But once the cash changes hands, the criminals vanish without a trace, leaving the buyers with confiscated vehicles and empty pockets.

“These vehicles, if you look for them at a car dealership, they’re well over $75-80,000. In this situation, the victims paid between $30-40,000 cash for these vehicles. Once they tried to register them, we were alerted and sure enough, looking over at the vehicles, we discovered that they’re actually stolen. Just keep in mind that if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” said Investigator Gina Gonzalez.

In order to protect yourself from falling victim to such scams, the task force advises potential buyers to exercise with caution and conduct thorough research.

If you are looking into purchasing a vehicle directly from a seller, use on-line resources to check the vehicle’s history by using the VIN.

The information to these links and websites is provided on the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles website.

You may also run the VIN using VINCheck, which is a FREE look-up service provided to the public by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) database to find out if the car was reported stolen and unrecovered, flooded, or deemed unrepairable by participating NICB member insurance companies.

If you have any concerns, you can contact the LPD Auto Theft Task Force at 956-795-2341.

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