TORONTO, Oct. 23, 2013 /CNW/ - OMVIC, the regulator of motor vehicle
sales in Ontario, is warning car buyers of yet another online scam
According to Carey Smith, OMVIC Director of Investigations, Double Eagle
Motors advertises on online vehicle marketplaces such as AutoTrader.ca,
offering high-end and exotic vehicles at prices that are often 'too
good to be true'. "When the potential buyer calls the number in the ad,
and the number will appear to be a Canadian phone number, they are told
the car is now in the US and are directed to the 'dealer's' website",
explains Smith. Double Eagle Motor's website claims the dealership is
based in Phoenix AZ, however the business does not actually exist.
According to Smith, "The Arizona authorities have confirmed Double
Eagle Motors is not licensed or registered. Consumers who send them
money should not expect to receive a vehicle".
Terry O'Keefe, OMVIC Manager of Communications, says these frauds
specifically target Canadians and are very sophisticated. "The Double
Eagle Motors website is very professional and contains extensive
inventory and convincing customer testimonials; they've even created
recommendations on referral websites". Unfortunately, because of the
international multi-jurisdictional nature of these scams,
investigations and prosecutions are difficult and expensive. "The
scammers know this - it's why they are targeting Canadians" explains
An Ottawa man found himself square in the crosshairs of this scam last
week while searching AutoTrader for a Ferrari. Daniel Nahon located a
Ferrari F430 selling for approximately $25,000 less than what the car
regularly sold for in Canada. "It was just the car I'd been searching
for" explained Nahon. "The ad had a Montreal phone number but when I
called they explained the car was now in Phoenix and directed me to the
Double Eagle Motors website". Fortunately Nahon became suspicious after
receiving the dealer's contract and contacted OMVIC before sending the
$42,500 deposit the 'dealer' had requested. "I was fortunate, but this
operation is very convincing and I don't want to see others
Double Eagle Motors may be the latest incarnation of a phony dealership
scam that first appeared in December 2012; it uses websites, contracts
and tactics eerily similar to those of Ambient Auto Center and Sprint
Luxury Auto, both supposedly based in Oklahoma City, and Husen Original
Autos, that claimed to be based in Phoenix; all were phony dealerships.
OMVIC knows of five Canadians who lost over $200,000 to the Ambient
OMVIC strongly cautions Ontarians considering buying vehicles remotely,
whether privately or from a dealer in another state or province, and
offers the following tips:
Beware of a price that is considerably lower than the average market
price. If a price seems too good to be true it should be seen as a
warning, not an opportunity.
Travel to see the vehicle - don't rely on pictures or a convincing
website. If a buyer can't travel to see the vehicle, hire an appraiser
or mechanic to inspect the vehicle. They can ensure the vehicle
actually exists and the seller is who they claim to be.
Check with state or provincial regulators/authorities to ensure dealers
Purchase a vehicle history report for the vehicle - don't simply rely on
a report provided by the seller: they can be altered.
Don't wire money or provide a credit card number without first doing all homework.
Don't do it - consider that the savings are probably not worth the
gamble, especially in light of the rapid proliferation of these scams.
O'Keefe wants Ontarians to know "they are only protected by OMVIC and
Ontario's consumer protection laws, and only have access to the Motor
Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund, when they buy from an
OMVIC-registered dealer. If consumers buy privately, or outside the
province, and something goes wrong they are basically on their own.
It's simply not worth the risk."
The Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) administers and
enforces the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) on behalf of the Ministry of Consumer Services. OMVIC maintains a fair and informed vehicle sales marketplace by
regulating dealers and salespersons, regularly inspecting Ontario's
8,000 dealerships and 24,000 salespeople, maintaining a complaint line
for consumers and conducting investigations and prosecutions. OMVIC is
also responsible for administering the Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund on behalf of its Board of Trustees.
About Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund:
The Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund is fully funded by Ontario's
registered motor vehicle dealers and provides compensation to consumers
who have a valid claim against an Ontario-registered dealer. Qualifying
consumers may be eligible to receive up to $45,000 for each valid claim
to the Compensation Fund. Since its inception on July 1, 1986, the
Compensation Fund has paid out over $5 million to consumers. In 2011,
the Compensation Fund celebrated 25 years of providing advanced
consumer protection to Ontarians.
SOURCE: Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC)
For further information:
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