Selling your car privately is a great way to maximize the amount of money you can earn but it does come with some risks. You can avoid these traps by with a few precautions.

Stay away from Third Party Agents

If a third-party agent contacts you claiming to have a buyer for your car lined up asking you to pay them a small fee. Don’t take their deal this is for sure a scam.

Verify the identity of your buyer

There is no problem in asking the buyer to bring some proof of identification with them while coming to view the car. A genuine buyer won’t mind showing the proof of their identification at all. Never sell your vehicle to an anonymous person who offers to buy your used car sight unseen. Any legitimate buyer is always going to ask to check out your car and make sure everything is in working order before they buy.

You can check your buyer’s identity by asking for their driver’s license and insurance card before they test drive your vehicle. It also lets you verify that the person in front of you is the same person you’ve been talking with online.

Don’t Share Personal Information

Whether buying a car, selling a car, or doing anything else on the internet for that matter, be wary of sharing personal information, including banking and credit card information, your social security and insurance numbers, and your birthday.

Arrange to meet at a public place

Because so many people are arranging physical meetings after connecting over the internet avoid private, secluded meeting areas. The more people in your meeting area, the safer you’ll be. Shopping malls and grocery store parking lots are great options. Many police stations also have designated places for peoples to conduct sales.

A police station is ideal, as very few scammers will be willing to risk ripping someone off in front of the cops. So always set up a meeting in a store parking lot or another location with a lot of traffic, ideally during daylight hours. Never give your home address to strangers or invite them to see your car at your home.

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Tell others about meeting

Inform a friend or family member about your meeting, including the location, time and expected time of return. And it wouldn’t hurt to give that person a call when the meeting is over. It would be much better if you can take someone with you because criminals are less likely to act if someone else is there. You don’t need a trained bodyguard, though just having a friend with you can give an extra margin of safety.

Get paid before signing over the title

Before completing the transaction, be sure you’ve been getting paid. Payment by cash or a cashier’s check will help you keep safe against fraud, although there’s no absolute guarantee against a fake cheque. And unless your car buyer is a relative or close friend, don’t agree to a payment plan.

Be aware of email receipts. Before you part with your car, make sure the money has reached your bank account. Keep in mind that fraudsters will often ask very legitimate questions regarding the vehicle and its condition, so they sound more believable.

The scammer will then ask you to ship the car or to organize a freight company to pick up the vehicle for them. Another similar scam is when a buyer will claim that they have paid but the online payment service provider is holding the money until you ship the car.