Found on Reddit: This is why we built KeySavvy
This is a compilation of actual posts on Reddit about people getting scammed (or nearly getting scammed) when buying and selling cars private party. Reading a few of these stories and the comments will help you identify scams and make the right decisions that keep you from making these same mistakes.
KeySavvy was built to help buyers and sellers avoid scams like the ones below. When you use KeySavvy for your private party sale, you can focus on getting the best price.
Seller had fake lien release statement. $40k still owed on the original loan.
Tip: Don't pay the seller until you verify all liens are satisfied. Read more about private party sales when the seller has a loan.
Seller accepted $12k in counterfeit cash. Vehicle was not recovered by police.
Buyer lost $24k after purchasing a stolen car. Car was confiscated.
Title had a different VIN. Buyer can't register motorcycle.
Buyer didn't notice the lien on the title and the seller wasn't even the owner.
Buyer sent $400 deposit. Seller disappeared.
Seller promised to find the title, but didn't. Buyer can't register motorcycle.
Seller accepted fake cashier's check. Lost $20,000.
Buyer bought a car with undisclosed $10k lien.
Buyer paid $25k in cash. Car was stolen and had a lien.
Title was missing a signature. Buyer can't register the car.
California buyer discovered there was a lien that was not disclosed. Can't register the vehicle.
Seller was not the legal owner. Buyer can't register the car.
Buyer paid $7k with a fake escrow service.
Odometer was rolled back. Buyer paid over market value.
Buyer did not fully understand financing and purchase price.
Motorcycle seller didn't have the title. Real title holder wants $500 more.
Seller was not the owner. Car was possibly stolen.
Title was void. Buyer can't register the car.
Title had undisclosed lien. Buyer has to pay off lien to register the car.
Buyer left abruptly after paying, illegible signature.
Lien on title, but seller has lien release letter showing it's paid off.
Seller promised to pay off lien with buyer's money. Didn't happen.
About Andrew Crowell
Andrew is an avid car enthusiast, software engineer, and business leader in the automotive and e-commerce industry. He's owned a couple Mazda Miatas, an E46 M3, a Subaru WRX STI, and a Porsche 911 Turbo.