Federal Trade Commission cracking down on deceptive auto dealers

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Buying a car isn’t easy. It’s one of the most expensive and complicated purchases that you’ll ever make in your lifetime. A few dealerships across the country are making that process harder and more expensive than ever with deceptive practices.

The Federal Trade Commission has received about 75,000 complaints regarding car dealers and they’re beginning to crack down on these deceptive dealers with Operation Steer Clear, a program that aims to target dealers that advertise fake sweepstakes, hidden finance charges, or teaser prices that don’t expose balloon payments.

So what are some tips to follow to make sure you don’t get victimized by these shady dealer practices?  Leah Napoliello, senior director of investigative services at the Better Business Bureau says, “One thing you can do is look at the company’s report with the Better Business Bureau, make sure they have a positive rating with us. You should basically be very cautious if someone is giving a deal that sounds to good to be true, like a really low offer or promising some type of prize, just be very wary of something that sounds like a wonderful deal but then when it turns out, there may be additional fees attached or there may not be a prize.  Before you sign any contract, do read everything very carefully, make sure you understand and look at the fine print and if you do have any questions, be sure to ask them.”

There you have it, read the fine print folks, and if you’re unclear on anything, ask questions.  After all, it’s a huge investment on your end, you want to make sure you’re getting the deal. Not them.