Odometer rollback fraud, also known as odometer tampering, is a scam in which an unscrupulous seller attempts to defraud a buyer by resetting the odometer on a used vehicle to a lower number than the vehicle actually has. According to the New york times, more half million vehicles were sold in 2021 with tampered odometer.
By changing an odometers‘ reading, a seller can make a vehicle appear to be in better condition and have a lower number of miles on it, which can result in a higher asking price being charged for the car.
Fortunately, there are some steps that a buyer can take to protect themselves from falling victim to this type of scam.
How to check for rollback fraud before buying a used vehicle
- Check the car’s history report: Websites such as Carfax and Autocheck offer detailed reports of a vehicle’s history, including its mileage. These reports can be used to compare the current odometer reading to the vehicle’s previous readings to see if there have been any sudden and suspicious drops in the number of miles.
- Check the car’s original title: The vehicle’s original title will show the car’s original mileage at the time of manufacture. Comparing this to the current odometer reading can be a good indicator of whether the odometer has been tampered with.
- Get your mechanic to inspect the car: A certified mechanic can be hired to inspect the vehicle and look for any signs of tampering. The mechanic can also look for wear and tear on the brakes, tires, and other components that are consistent with the odometer reading.
By taking these steps, buyers can help protect themselves from falling victim to an odometer rollback scam. However, if a buyer suspects that a vehicle’s odometer has been tampered with, they should contact the police to report the suspicious activity.