IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - The Better Business Bureau is warning of a fake online car dealership that claims to be based in Idaho Falls. The twist, they said, is no personal contact with the buyer since orders are only taken through the Internet.
Dale Dixon with the BBB said they got two phone calls from people wanting to check into Cars IW, which claims to have a couple of hundred cars, trucks and even tractors for sale. But, after some research, the BBB quickly discovered it was a scam.
Can't find a new set of wheels that strikes your fancy at local dealerships? Or for sale by owner?
"There are legitimate places that you can buy cars online," said Dixon.
But beware. Dixon said via Skype that online dealer Cars IW could leave a hole in your wallet and your garage.
"At this point, we're very fortunate that we don't know of anybody that's been scammed by it," said Dixon.
CarsIW.com showcases hundreds of vehicles and their prices, along with five glowing customer reviews. When our station called the number listed, we got a busy tone.
The BBB said when they called, a message directed them back to the web.
The person is encouraging payment by wire transfer on the website and promising the vehicles will be delivered across the country with an auto transport company," said Dixon.
The company's website shows two women as managers and gives 2117 West Omni Dr. in Idaho Falls as an address. So, we went to check it out and found Eagle Rock Fabrications, a metal processing company. Owners said they don't sell cars.
"We've had a few phone calls from people and we just assumed they were wrong numbers until the BBB called," said co-owner Todd Vadnais.
Vadnais said he wasn't sure what to make of the situation.
"Thieves born every minute, I guess," said Vadnais.
Dixon said if you want to buy a car online, you should do your homework first. He said one option is to Google the address then call a neighboring company to get some information. Be sure to check out the auto transport company too, he said.
The BBB said the Cars IW website is registered to a man in California who has been impossible to track down. In a press release on Tuesday, they said his phone number is linked to hundreds of other websites on an Australian Internet service provider.