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Texas Department of Insurance
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August 5, 2021

Buying a used car? Here’s how to avoid scams

Buying a vehicle? Curious about the one you’ve got? Did you know you can check a car or truck’s vehicle identification number (VIN) number to learn more about it? The information you get with a VIN can help keep you safe and save you money.

For our latest podcast, we talked to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) about how a VIN can help you. And the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Greater Houston shared how to avoid scams when you buy a vehicle online.

Some tips: You can use NICB’s VINCheck to find out if a vehicle was stolen or damaged. A VIN can also tell you if it was flooded during a hurricane. That’s important because, if it was, sensors for airbags and bumpers could fail in an accident.

It’s also a good idea to check with the Better Business Bureau in your area when you buy a used vehicle, especially if you buy online. The BBB can tell you if a seller or website has a lot of complaints or bad reviews. And they can tell you about the latest scams—like a price that’s too good to be true, or a third-party escrow site that seems fake.

If you’re in the market for a car or truck, listen to our podcast for more information.