FAIRFAX, VA – Thousands of used car buyers are at risk each day of becoming a victim of vehicle fraud, according to Larry Gamache, communications director at Carfax, a provider of vehicle history reports.

Tips on avoiding various scams con artists use to dupe consumers, as pointed out by Gamache, include:

  • Airbag fraud. One out of every 25 previously deployed airbags are replaced with either dummy or non-working airbag units, costing insurance companies and consumers an average of $50 million a year.

  • Odometer rollbacks. Each case of odometer fraud costs consumers more than $2,300. Digital odometers are rolled back in a matter of seconds by equipment that can be purchased over the Internet.

  • VIN cloning. More than 1.5 million vehicles are stolen in the U.S. each year. From these, 225,000 have their vehicle identification numbers switched to conceal their identity and are sold to unknowing consumers.

  • Curbstoning. An estimated 60 to 90 percent of vehicles sold in classifieds or at the curb are sold by unlicensed dealers posing as private sellers.