Fake Classic Car Dealer Scammed Buyers Out of Thousands in Deposits
Buyers tried to snap up old Blazers, Buicks, and JDM classics only to find out they were from a fake dealership.
Classic car buyers say they were bilked out of thousands of dollars after a purported dealer in Maine ended up being completely bogus. The Bangor Daily News reported last week the Houlton Chamber of Commerce in Houlton, Maine, received phone calls from people who wondered whether VNKC was a legitimate business based in the town. The director of the chamber of commerce drove down to the address listed on the dealer’s website only to find that it didn’t exist.
Buyers said they were conned by the dealer, who provided VINs and phony titles for the cars. After receiving the alleged paperwork, interested buyers deposited money into a bank account to await delivery of the vehicle. When those vehicles never showed up, the buyers started asking questions.
“I talked to them for over five weeks. I have a copy of the title, the bill of lading, the bill of sale, the VIN number,” an Oklahoma man trying to buy a 1987 Chevy Blazer told the Bangor Daily News. “It never arrived. After the shipping date, the number I had been calling went dead.”
That same Blazer appeared on another website for sale in Naples, Florida. A woman from South Carolina said she tried to buy a Nissan Figaro from the dealer in Maine as well, deposited money into an escrow account to await delivery, and nothing ever showed. A Florida man said he sent $35,000 for a yellow 1970 Buick GSX but stopped payment on his check after that car was listed for sale in Philadelphia.
The ISP for the now-defunct dealer site is registered as a radio and TV company in Lithuania and a U.S. address listed for the domain returns to a law office in Virginia claiming to have no affiliation with the bogus dealership. For now, it’s unclear what, if any, recourse the cheated buyers will have. Other potential victims are encouraged to contact the Maine Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division if they’ve also been duped.
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