CUMMING, Ga. — The Facebook marketplace has become a popular way to buy and sell goods and services, but one local woman is warning others to beware of scammers. A Forsyth County resident, wishes to remain anonymous but says she was nearly the victim of a odometer rollback scam while trying to purchase a Lexus.

“I found it online, and I reached out to them and it was available. They offered to let me test drive it, if I could come to their location, and it turns the location was a parking lot, some sort of an office complex or like a strip mall,” she said.

The woman says they allowed her to test drive the vehicle. She decided to drive it to her husband’s office so he could look it over. After a brief inspection, he suggested that she drive it to their mechanic to run a Carfax report.

“The mileage on the odometer said 123,000. When he went into his dealer website through Carfax, he could see the mileage was actually ranging somewhere around 180,000 or 190,000,” she said. 

When she confronted the dealership regarding the issue, they didn't provide much of an explanation. “I told them the mileage was incorrect and gave them the mileage that the Carfax company was reporting, and of course they claimed innocence.”

The woman was then instructed to return the car to the same parking lot and leave the key under the floor mat.

“They did not come back to meet me,” she said. “They have not contacted me, and they were not there when I dropped the car off.”

Michael Stout, the owner of Sawnee Mountain Motors in Cumming, warns anyone looking to purchase a used car to do their own research on the vehicle. It’s as simple as getting the Vehicle Identification Number or VIN.

“There's a sticker on the door, and there's usually a number on the lower driver’s side portion of the windshield,” Stout said. “Just type the number in Google, and sometimes that car will come up with a previous link somewhere, so you can find information on the car,” said Stout.

He also recommends getting a Carfax report.

“Most any good car dealer would be happy to run a Carfax for you free of charge,” Stout said. “The second most important thing, of course, is the person you're buying the car from. A reputable dealer stands behind their work. If they have a lot of negative reviews, then obviously where there's smoke there's fire.”

Lastly, Stout suggests taking the vehicle to a trusted  mechanic for final approval before making a purchase.

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