Cash for Clunkers Scams Abound

By Matthew Harwood

The Federal Trade Commission, the Better Business Bureau, and a senator are warning people to beware of cyber and phone scams associated with the "Cash for Clunkers" program that phish for personal information or solicit down payments or fees to reserve a place in line.

According to The Wall Street Journal:

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a consumer alert noting that only one Web site,, is the official destination for the Car Allowance Rebate System. Other sites, particularly ones that ask for personal information, should be avoided since they might be a front for identity-theft efforts.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is also sounding the alarm, reports The Daily News.

Schumer said his office found several Web sites where people were promised a reserved spot in the program - if they provided their name, address and Social Security number.

"There's no such thing," Schumer said. "There's no one online who can reserve a place for you in the 'Cash for Clunkers' program."

According to the Better Business Bureau, various phone- and cyber-scammers have promised marks that they could reserve them a spot in line for the program in return for a down payment or a fee. But as the Denver Business Journal reports, "The problem is that the program doesn’t use either vouchers or lists, and no fees are necessary."

Under the recently renewed government program, car owners can receive up to $4,500 cash back for trading in their old gas guzzlers for more fuel-efficient vehicles. Due to the popularity of the program, the first $1 billion allocated was quickly wiped out. Last week, an additional $2 billion was added to the program to keep it going through August.

For more information on the program, go to the official Web site here.

♦ Photo by ThreadedThoughts/Flickr


 You don't need a voucher,

 You don't need a voucher, dealers will apply a credit at purchase


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