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Social Selling Apps Scams and Vehicles With Fake Titles Social Selling Apps Scams and Vehicles With Fake Titles


Be aware of potential scams when purchasing vehicles, through a private party, online, and via apps such as OfferUp, Craigslist, Letgo, Autolist etc.

Criminals are using social selling apps to scam innocent buyers out of money and cars. After the vehicle is purchased, buyers attempt to register the vehicle but are informed by officials the Title to the vehicle is fictitious or the vehicle is reported stolen. Subsequent attempts to contact the fraudulent seller reveal the phone number has been disconnected and the original ad for the vehicle has been removed.

Preventative Measures

  • Use good judgement.
  • Check the seller's ratings.
  • Take someone with you and do not buy a vehicle from an individual who meets you at a location other than a personal residence.
  • Watch to see that the person actually comes out of a residence, since one common scam is for a fraudulent seller to be working on the stolen car in front of a house in which he/she doesn't live.
  • Request the seller to show you their Driver License, registration and insurance cards associated with the vehicle and compare this information with the title.
  • Check and inspect the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) with both the registration card, title and vehicle (located on dashboard underneath windshield on driver side) and ensure the numbers match.
  • The safest bet is to arrange for you and the seller to meet at the DMV. If the seller resists for some evasive reason, that should be a warning.
  • You can perform your own Vehicle History Report online with AutoCheck/Autofax. This may save you time, money, and headaches by revealing potential problems before they occur.
  • If the vehicle price sounds too good to be true, walk away. Stolen cars with fictitious titles are offered at unusually low prices to get the deals closed as quickly as possible. Below is an example of a California Certificate of Title.

Certificate of Title

Notice there is no License Plate or Registered/Legal Owner information.

Report fraud attempts and suspicious behaviors to your local law enforcement agency and Campus Safety.

Contact Contact



The Office of Campus Safety is located on the ground floor of the Parking Structure at:

2021 D Street
La Verne, CA 91750

For any questions, comments, or concerns, please call the office at (909) 448-4950 or dial 4950 from any campus phone.

The University of La Verne prides itself on having a safe and inviting campus that welcomes visitors for an afternoon or students for years of study. Campus Safety Officers are patrolling campus 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays.



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