How to spot a fraudulent used car seller?

Updated Aug 22, 2022 | Same topic: Best Advice for Car Buyers

Don’t let your hard-earned pesos slip off to scammers.

Unlike buying a brand new car fresh from a dealership, looking for a used car in the open market is always risky. It is a type of market where everyone is free can sell his/her second-hand car. By the sound of it, you could encounter a lot of problems, especially if you are not aware of how to spot fraudulent car sellers.

Used cars in a dealership

Shopping for a second-hand car is risky

With that being said, we have listed down four points you need to look at before completing a transaction for the new second-hand unit you are eyeing. Through these points, you can get the most out of your car purchase. Besides, an automobile is one of the most expensive investments in our lifetime.

I. Spotting a fraudulent used car seller

1. Identification

Now that online shopping is more prevalent than ever since the pandemic happened, sellers learned to show their identifications from the get-go. Usually, a Land Transportation Office (LTO) driver’s license is posted alongside the car a seller is offering. If a used car seller can’t give you a proper identification, look for other options.

LTO driver's license

Identification is a must

2. No basic documents

Everything in this world is documented, and automobiles are no exception. As such, sellers must be able to provide documents such as the OR/CR. This is perhaps the most important factor you need to consider when spotting a fraudulent 2nd hand car seller.

3. Too good to be true

There is a wide array of used cars on sale in the Philippines that you can find online. So much so that you could see exaggerated deals such as a very affordable car with a price significantly lower than similar units. Keep in mind that the moment a brand new car leaves a dealership for the first time, it already loses 10 to 20 percent of its value.


Without proper documents such as OR/CR, just leave

4. Deposit scams

As much as possible, never buy into transactions that involve deposits. This is normally practiced on outstanding used car deals that a lot of people are looking to buy. But if the seller is someone that you trust on a personal level, then you could consider it. You are that judge of that.

II. How to avoid it?

Based on the points we mentioned, ask for the identification of the used car seller, as well as the documents of the unit. And most importantly, check out the second-hand car in person to see its conditions. If you are not familiar with the technical side of automobiles, we recommend that you bring with you your trusted mechanic.

Read more second-hand car buying tips at

Rex Sanchez

Rex Sanchez


Rex Sanchez grew up in Saudi Arabia where he saw and got into the automotive scene. He started his career for an aviation company in the said region, writing about turbines and rotors which are later distributed for educational purposes. And now, he joined as a staff writer. Currently, he is the youngest on the team and is more than ready to grow in the field.


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