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Kelley Blue Book Warns Of Payment Protection Plan Scam

Kelley Blue Book publicly warned the world Wednesday, September 21, 2011, of a new scam in which someone is using a fake Kelley Blue Book website. Over the last few months Kelley Blue Book has received an increasing number of inquiries about a protection plan that they do not offer. Apparently the scam solicits money from buyers via an escrow-based, guaranteed buyer-protection plan.

The FBI has stated that every 90 minutes a complaint is filed and an auto shopper loses $1,000 every hour due to fraudulent sites like this.

Balzekas Used Cars, Plate 2

Kelley Blue Book warns that they do not offer a protection plan and any escrow-based consumer-to-consumer service offered by it’s name is a scam. The scamming site apparently has a similar look and feel to Kelley Blue Book’s actual website ( Shoppers that encounter this offer are urged to report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center ( and of course, let us here at know!

How the Scam Often Works:

  1. Typically, a seller will list a car that they do not own on a reputable vehicle listings website. Emails from the seller often provide a story about a quick divorce or military deployment that requires fast liquidation of the vehicle at a low price and the inability to execute the sale in person.
  2. The next phase of the scam includes the seller moving the transaction to a fraudulent website other than where the car was listed, making it easier to conduct a crime. The alternate site may include guarantees that are backed by reputable companies, promises for the return of funds should a vehicle not be delivered, and may look similar to Kelley Blue Book’s website by using logos and similar fonts and colors. The majority of these sites are often poorly written with multiple spelling errors.
  3. The seller then instructs the potential buyer to wire a partial or full payment to a third-party, such as Kelley Blue Book and fax the seller proof of payment. By the time the buyer realizes what has happened, the money and the seller are long gone. – Source.

Kelley Blue Book is hard at work trying to rid the Internet of these phony sites! Until then, be sure to always double check the validity of a site before spending or sending any of your funds.

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If you have been scammed and would like to file a scam report, please click here.

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Amanda Miller

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