The Mobile County District Attorney’s Office and the Mobile Police Department have received numerous complaints in regard to the fraudulent sale of vehicles on Facebook Marketplace and other online shops.
The scheme begins with an individual going to small car lots who appear to be self-financing vehicles. The applicant will pay a small amount for the down payment and will list the vehicle for sale on Facebook Marketplace. The loan application is completed with false information. That individual then sells the vehicle to a legitimate buyer on Facebook Marketplace. After the sale of the vehicle to a legitimate buyer, the initial buyer does not pay off the loan. The new buyer cannot title the vehicle as he or she does not have a good title. At first, the businesses were repossessing the vehicles from the legitimate buyers due to having GPS trackers on the vehicles. Now, the scheme has evolved to where the defendants are removing the GPS device.
Please be aware that consumers interested in purchasing vehicles online need to ensure that they are purchasing from a reputable source. Verification of the legitimacy of the seller and their actual possession of the vehicle is key. It is also crucial that the consumer receives a legitimate title upon purchase of the vehicle.
If you believe that you have been a victim of this scam there are resources available to you. Please contact one of the following:
Mobile Police Department
Auto Theft Unit
Mobile County District Attorney’s Office
White Collar Unit
FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center