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Nine Notorious Car Scams

Cars are big-ticket items, and there are many ways for fraudsters to bilk unsuspecting victims. The rise of Internet commerce has vastly expanded the ways to separate a mark from his money, and has effectively made it a global business.

Consumer complaints rose 25 percent in 2010 and a complaint is filed every 90 minutes, according to a Consumer Reports article citing FBI stats. Regarding auto-related complaints, every hour a car buyer loses more than $1,000.

The online car sales company Cars.com employs a fraud team to help weed out the most fraudulent ads on its website.

“The number one piece of advice we can give for buyers and sellers is to listen to that inner voice that says, ‘This is too good to be true,’” advises the site’s spokesperson, Ron Hall, “because we've found that it always, always is.”

While it may seem like a no-brainer, never purchase a car or send money for a vehicle without seeing it first. “You'd be surprised at how many people do that,” he says.

The Cars.com fraud team put together this list of the most common scams in auto sales.

Keep in mind the schemes and tactics that follow are not mutually exclusive — some scammers take pages from numerous playbooks. Click on ahead to see them all.

By Colleen KanePosted 23 September 2011

Stone | Getty Images