Beware of “Bait and Switch” Scam when buying a Car

The “Bait and Switch” scam is one of the oldest tricks in the book.

“Bait and switch” scam is a considerably old trick that some dealers like to practice. The “bait” is the advertisement that may be placed either in the dealership’s website or in some of the local newspapers.  Usually in the advertisement you will find a dream car at a surprisingly low price and monthly payments.


   The scammers know that after seeing such an advertisement, car shoppers will rush to the dealership not to miss the deal. That’s the main reason why the dealers usually make the vehicle in the advertisement look so fine and stainless. The scammers are sure that people reading the advertisement will not even notice the fine print in the advertisement that tells all the material facts and details about the deal.  Usually, the fine print involves information about the 25% or more down payment that is needed to be paid for the deal to be completed, or it may indicate that the vehicle is sold for $250 monthly and the whole period is 72 months or more.


   The “switch” part usually takes place in the dealership. Here the dealer will try to shift you from the advertised vehicle onto another one which is more expensive. The thing is that the dealers who practice the “bait and switch” scam believe that it is easier to manipulate the car shopper in the dealership.


Here are some tips on how to avoid the “bait and switch” scam:



Always read the fine print in the advertisement carefully. If you do so, you will be surprised at how miserable a deal the dealer may be offering to you


Always visit a dealership with an informed friend or a family member


Ask the permission for your mechanic to inspect the vehicle


Research vehicle prices and manufacturer rebates before entering the dealership


 The “bait and switch” scam is really one of the oldest tricks in the book, but you will be able to avoid it if you are careful enough.

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