Tampered mileage? How to spot this common used car scam

Tampered mileage? How to spot this common used car scam
Tampered mileage? How to spot this common used car scam
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A new scam is attracting attention: the manipulation of mileage in used cars. Even with the advanced technology in today’s vehicles, this practice is still common and is increasingly difficult to identify, as scammers are always improving their techniques.

False mileage and how it is done

Alexandre Barros Pinho, owner of the WTC Express workshop, explains the scammers’ new trick. They are using information from vehicle cautionary reports to establish false mileage on the odometer.

The expert gives an example: “If someone offers a car with 100 thousand km, and in the ad it is said that the last report on the vehicle was done with 60 thousand km, the buyer (who, in fact, is a dealer, and not a customer end) you already know that you can choose a mileage of 60 thousand or more. This way, he can put makeup on the car before passing it on.”

As for the alteration methods, in the past it was done manually, but today, even with digital odometers, scammers have found ways to “make up” these numbers. They can access the ECU, the vehicle’s electronic control center, but often the precautionary report Don’t check that part.

How to identify fraud

Despite the difficulties, there are ways to detect this fraud. More sophisticated cars with advanced electronic systems generally keep a more reliable record of mileage.

Also, going to a dealership to extract information from the car’s modules might be a good idea. Alexandre also mentions that the car insurance inspection is crucial, as it records the condition of the car, which can help identify changes made after purchase.

Tips for consumers to avoid the scam

To avoid falling for this scam, consumers must pay attention to some details. It is important to check all vehicle documents and invoices. Furthermore, observing the condition of the tires and their manufacturing date can reveal a lot about the reality of the car.

The interior of the vehicle also provides clues. Seats, gear knob, pedals and steering wheel can show the real wear and tear on the car. For example, if it has been driven less than 40 thousand km, there is generally no significant wear on these components. However, Alexandre warns that some sellers even exchange these parts to hide the true mileage.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Tampered mileage spot common car scam

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