Consumers need to watch out for flood car scams that are becoming increasingly common. Beware of used car deals that sound too good to be true because they are almost always a scam. Water damaged cars and trucks have “flooded” the market.
Just because you live thousands of miles away from any hurricane or flood-hit area doesn’t make you immune from dishonest sellers. Flood damaged cars are often moved to states far from where they were damaged to prey upon less suspicious buyers. It isn’t illegal to sell flood-damaged vehicles, it is illegal not to disclose its water damaged history to prospective buyers.
Flood car scams are often perpetrated by salvage operators or shady car dealers that buy flood-damaged cars for next to nothing. The do a minimal clean up, a little mold removal and then ship them t0 be re-sold without informing buyers about the vehicles’ flood history. Sending cars and trucks to different states is done to cover up any record of the flood damage. The practice is known as “title washing.”
Rust and mold damage may not be visible when you look at the car even though the water damage and moisture related problems still there. Be sure to read our article How to Avoid Buying a Flood-Damaged Car.