The types of fraud that an auto dealership could commit are limited only by the fraudster’s imagination. Many times, a multifaceted approach is used that incorporates a variety of methods. Odometer rollbacks are a common fraud in the used car market. Manipulating the accumulated mileage on a car to make the odometer appear to have lower miles to unsuspecting buyers is all too common.
This type of fraud can occur as an isolated incident. However, odometer fraud is often only one strategy that is a part of a larger criminal enterprise. Unfortunately, odometer tampering is often accompanied by an array of other crimes that go hand in hand.
Types of crimes that often accompany odometer fraud
Once an auto dealership crosses the line and involves itself in odometer fraud, it can be like opening Pandora’s box. Often odometer fraud is not the only shady activity that they are involved in. They may also be engaged in:
- Conspiracy: Odometer fraud is often a part of a larger criminal conspiracy that involves multiple dealerships across multiple cities and states.
- Money laundering: Criminal enterprises often use auto dealerships to launder money derived from other criminal activities.
- Forgery: Forging titles, bills of sale and other documents related to car dealerships can go along with odometer fraud.
- “Chop-shop”: A chop-shop involves using stolen car parts to repair used vehicles. If an auto dealership is dishonest enough to roll back odometers, what stops them from using stolen car parts to get used cars in a saleable condition?
Because criminals that undertake odometer fraud are often a part of other criminal activity, it is imperative to stay safe. Instead of confronting them directly, it is a good idea to get the authorities involved. A civil court case against an auto dealership for fraud may just be the tip of the iceberg and what’s necessary to ensure that your rights are protected.