Before you buy your attractively-priced Ferrari or Bentley from an online car dealer, make sure the business is legitimate, the Better Business Bureau warned last week.
Several phony luxury car dealerships that claim to be based in North Dakota have scammed consumers out of thousands of dollars recently, the BBB said.
The scammers take listings off the web sites of real businesses and market the cars as their own. One listed a car on and directed the customer to a bogus website.
Some web sites were shut down after the BBB contacted web providers, but not before one buyer wired $32,000 for a non-existent sports car. Another paid $23,000 for a truck he never received.
Before you buy, contact the state in which the business is allegedly located to verify that a dealer is licensed. In Minnesota, you can contact the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Search online for duplicate car listings. Verify a business with phone directories or the BBB. Scrutinize car-listing photos for terrain anomalies such as palm trees and mountains, features rarely found in the upper Midwest.

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