CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Have you decided yet what you are going to do with your federal tax refund? A number of your neighbors are planning to buy new vehicles, but a handful of them are finding out that the great deals they thought they were getting just aren't real.
It turns out, they are the victims of a new scam.
"Yes, it's that time again," Nueces County Tax Assessor-Collector Kevin Kieschnick said. "People getting ripped off for vehicle deals too good to be true."
The scammers target hard working people looking to find a good deal when shopping for a new vehicle, but there's usually a caviat to the deal.
"We are seeing a lot of deals come through, we've seen four today alone, where people have brought in cars without titles and they will probably most likely never get a title to these vehicles, and they're out the cash they pay," Kieschnick said.
So what are their options?
"Unfortunately they dont have a lot, especially if that vehicle comes up stolen," Kieschnick said. "We had an issue last week where a gentleman bought a vehicle in Austin. Paid $8,000 cash. Was going to get them the rest of the money, and turns out that vehicle had a stolen remark on its record."
That person then drove the car to Corpus Christi. Kieschnick said had he been pulled over, he could have been arrested.
It's not the reputable auto retailers who do this, according to Kieschnick.
"So just be extremely careful this time of year because there are lots of people out there trying to take advantage of people's income tax returns," Kieschnick said. "So it's buyer beware. If the deal is too good to be true, it probably is."
Another thing to watch out for are take titles. You can always verify them by the document number at the website txdmv.gov or at carfax.com.