Show me the car fraud: Tips to protect yourself from scams in online auto malls

woman bending over car engine calling for help
woman bending over car engine calling for help

I did a good deed this week. I caught a shyster trying to sell a car that likely didn't exist and in the process learned a few things about how to protect yourself when buying a car online.

It's been a while since I last bought a car. Back then, the idea of completing the entire process online from search to sale was still pretty far out. Now of course, it's not. Gone are the days when all you had to worry about was a single slippery salesman in an auto showroom. Online car sales have brought their own special set of hucksters and charlatans, just aiming to drive away with your hard-earned cash.

I met one last week.