Car advertisement scams are becoming more prominent in Maryland and across the United States. Some deceptive car dealerships will use underhanded tactics to get potential buyers on the car lot. Once a buyer is on the lot, they will offer deals that are a lot higher than the consumer intended to pay. While some dealerships will try to hide these tactics behind clever contract provisions, they are still considered fraud and you should avoid doing business with them. If you or a family member was a victim of car dealership fraud, you should consult with an experienced Maryland car advertising scam attorney.
The legal team at Whitney, LLP understands the frustration of being locked in a contract with a car dealer that committed fraud and we are here to help you. You should not have to be burdened with undesirable contract clauses and vehicle payments due to the deceptive tactics of a car dealership. To schedule a consultation to discuss your claim, call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000.
Common Car Dealership Advertising Scams
Unscrupulous car dealerships will often use a series of deceptive tactics to sell cars to unsuspecting consumers. Many consumers will believe they found a good deal on a car only to later discover that the purchase price of a vehicle was a lot higher than advertised. That is why it is important to understand when a car dealership is attempting to lock you into an undesirable vehicle purchase or vehicle lease. The following is a list of common car dealership advertising scams.
Bait and Switch
Bait and switch scams can be perpetrated in several different ways. One way a dealer may attempt this scheme is by informing you of a reasonable price for the vehicle you are considering buying. Once you decide to negotiate a contract with the dealership, the dealer will then quote a price that is substantially higher than the first price they quoted.
To avoid this scheme, you should verify that the total cash price of the vehicle is the same as the price initially quoted. If the dealer does not want to honor the original price, you should refrain from doing business with this dealership.
Another type of bait and switch scheme occurs through the use of advertisements. Specifically, you may see an ad online that the vehicle you want to purchase has reached an extremely low price. Once you arrive at the dealership the dealer may claim the car you wanted has already been sold but you are welcome to choose a similar vehicle at a significantly higher price.
If you are not offered the price advertised for the vehicle you wanted to purchase, you should avoid doing business with this dealership. Additionally, you should read the fine print on any car advertisements carefully to avoid undesirable terms being slipped in the contract.
Added Option Fraud
Added option fraud occurs when a dealership adds several features to a vehicle they received from a manufacturer. For example, a dealer may install chrome wheels, a sunroof, or a reverse camera. A dishonest dealer will then drastically increase the cost of these add-ons so they will earn more money on commission and for the dealership.
After these features are added to a vehicle, they may inconspicuously advertise the features on the car window or another area where it will be difficult to see. Believing they are getting a deal for all these fancy add-ons; a consumer may decide to purchase the vehicle. However, the consumer will then learn those add-on options increased the price of the vehicle by several hundred dollars or even a thousand dollars. Dealer add-on options can typically be installed for a lot cheaper than a dealer will want you to believe. That is why it is important to negotiate the inclusion of any additional vehicle features.
There are many other advertising scams that a deceptive car dealership may use to take advantage of a consumer. If you believe that a car dealer is not divulging all the facts about a vehicle, it is wise to simply walk away from the contract. These scams can leave you with a car that you cannot afford to pay for or a car that costs a lot more than it should have.
Our Baltimore Consumer Fraud Lawyers Can Help You File a Lawsuit Against a Dishonest Car Dealer
If a fraudulent car dealership deceived you or a family member, you should contact an experienced Baltimore consumer fraud lawyer today. At Whitney, LLP, our fraud lawyers possess decades of legal experience representing unsuspecting consumers against the fraudulent schemes of dishonest car dealerships. You do not have to handle a car dealership fraud case alone, contact Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000 for a free legal consultation.