Warren car buyers beware salvage title fraud

Vulnerable victims: language barriers targeted

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The Warren County Sheriff’s Office is warning car buyers of a few dealerships selling cars with salvaged titles to unsuspecting victims.

WCSO Sheriff Brett Hightower told News 40, “It’s been brought to our attention over the past year and a half that we have some different dealerships that may be selling cars to people unsuspecting that they might be buying a vehicle that’s not ready to be driven, but has a salvage title.”

Warren County Clerk Lynette Yates said, “98 percent of our dealers are all great to work with. They’re all great with their customers. There are a select few that I think may be taking advantage of people.”

This illegal practice puts the new owners at risk of legal issues and safety hazards.

“If a vehicle has a salvage title, has a bent frame, the alignment might be out. It may have some other parts or pieces that make it unroadworthy and very dangerous,” explained Hightower. “Some of our Hispanic population has been susceptible to this. We believe that maybe some of our Afghani population may be susceptible to this: the folks that come here with different ethnicities that may have a language barrier.”

“It is frustrating for them because they don’t know which way to turn or who can help,” added Yates.

The WCSO is working with state agencies to crack down on this fraud and urges anyone who has been a victim or suspects they may have bought a salvaged car to call them.

If you’re out car hunting, come with a list of questions prepared to avoid becoming the next victim.

“I always suggest if there’s any way, get a CARFAX on a vehicle,” advised Yates. “That way you know what it’s gone through. You know what the damage was to the vehicle.”

Hightower added, “Specifically ask them, ‘Does it have a rebuilt title? Does it have a salvage title on it? What type of title does it have,’ and they should be able to provide that title to you.”

Stay informed and head to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page for a car buying guide when it comes to salvage title vehicles.