Because there is no foolproof way to prevent fraud, awareness is the best defense. Please review our tips below, and use your best judgment in all transactions. Help us stop fraud. If you receive a suspicious email or are the victim of a scam, email us described below and contact the appropriate law enforcement authorities right away.
Str8Up Toy Trader is an online vehicle listing service that connects car buyers with sellers. We are not a vehicle dealer. Any listing information about a particular car comes directly from the seller–not from us. If you receive an email that implies we’re selling or buying a vehicle, please report it to us and to law enforcement. It’s most certainly a scam.
Any email that requests a deposit or payment for a shipment of a car stored in a Str8Up Toy Trader warehouse is a scam. Str8Up Toy Trader does not own a warehouse, and we don’t ship cars. Simply put, we don’t get involved in transactions between buyers and sellers (see more below). There are many reputable warehousing and shipping services that can make long-distance transactions easy. Just be sure to check out the services proposed on your own. If a seller recommends a warehousing or shipping service, report the seller to us and to law enforcement.
Don’t respond to any email that appears to come from Str8Up Toy Trader (for example, by displaying our logo) and urges you to complete the sale or purchase of a car listed on our site. Such emails are a sure sign of a scam.
Other signs of fraud are emails that:
Str8Up Toy Trader doesn’t guarantee or endorse transactions, and we don’t have preferred or pre-approved buyers or sellers. We’ll never encourage you to buy any particular vehicle listed on Str8Up Toy Trader or to sell your vehicle to any particular buyer. If you receive a suspicious email such as the ones described above, report it to us and to law enforcement.
Online fraud often begins with a spoof email requesting financial information. These spoof or scam, emails often impersonate a reputable company such as Str8Up Toy Trader by illegally displaying a company’s name, logo, or trademark. The intent is to deceive customers into revealing information such as:
The only time we’ll ever request your credit card information is when you’re in the process of purchasing an ad on our traditional website. We will not take down your listing purchased through our traditional website because you don’t provide account information. If you receive an email that asks for the kinds of information listed above, don’t respond. Instead, report the email to us and to law enforcement.
For a fee, an escrow service holds the buyer’s payment until the seller has delivered the item purchased. Such a third-party service can protect both parties from fraud. However, scammers often set up fake escrow services. They claim an affiliation with well-known companies like Str8Up Toy Trader, for example, to create a sense of security. Str8Up Toy Trader does not endorse all escrow services and does not operate an escrow service. Protect yourself by using our preferred provider, Escrow.com for secured payments. Visit Escrow.com
Remember these tips before you agree to use an escrow service:
And once you find an escrow service you’re comfortable with, be sure you understand:
If any escrow-related email or website implies an affiliation with us by displaying our logo or by other means (except for our preferred provider, Escrow.com), report it to us and law enforcement. Check our Internet fraud resources section for more advice on escrow services.
Buying a car you find online is a lot like buying a car through a classified ad in the newspaper. In either case, use your best judgment.
Know the car’s market value suspicious of a vehicle priced significantly below market value. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Obtain a vehicle history report. A vehicle history report can provide useful information, such as who holds the title to the car and whether the car has been in an accident reported to authorities. You’ll also find out whether the car was ever reported stolen, salvaged, or damaged.
Inspect the car, Schedule an inspection with a professional mechanic or an inspection service if the car is not in your area. An early inspection can help you identify problems. However, keep in mind that an inspection isn’t a warranty and won’t guarantee a car is free from defects or that inspectors have identified all existing problems.
Confirm the contact information before you send payment, and verify the seller’s street address and phone number- an email address is not enough. ZIP codes, area codes, and addresses should match up. Be wary if the seller is located overseas.
Use email wisely, Avoid sending sensitive personal or financial information (such as your social security number, credit card number, or checking account number) to a seller via email. Remember that email communications are not secure and can be easily forwarded to others.
Get a detailed receipt. Ask the seller for a receipt that states whether the vehicle is being sold with a warranty or “as is.”
Get title to the vehicleMake sure you know what’s required in your state to transfer title to the vehicle you’re buying.
Visit the sites below to learn more about Internet fraud.
Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)
Internet Fraud Preventive Measures
Better Business Bureau (BBB)
Be a Smarter Consumer
Tips to Avoid Online Escrow Fraud
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Practical Tips to Help You Be on Guard Against Internet Fraud
Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC)
Fake Seals and Phony Numbers: How Fraudsters Try to Look Legit
National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB)
Search Database for Vehicles Affected by Recent Hurricanes
Coordinating Committee of Automotive Repair (CCAR)
Latest CCAR consumer automotive news and recalls
Department of Motor Vehicles
Contact Your State Department
Obtain Vehicle History