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Ted Kamikaze

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Odometer rollback fraud on the rise in Tampa and across Florida

According to Carfax, the number of rolled-back odometers in Florida jumped to 75,000, a 19 percent increase in 2020 compared to 2019.

Think that since most odometers are digital now that the problem of fake odometer readings is going away? It’s not. In fact, it’s up. Way up… Carfax says 75,000 cases were reported in 2020. That’s up 19 percent, according to ABC Action News. That puts Florida in 5th place in the nation. As for here in our area, they say 18,300 vehicles in the Tampa, St. Pete and Sarasota area had rolled back odometers.

So how are crooks doing this? They say there’s a gadget sold online for a few hundred bucks that will do the trick. And yes, even with digital odometers. This tool does have legitimate uses so it’s not illegal to buy them. But they say a crook can roll back mileage on a vehicle in seconds.

To avoid getting ripped off, they say to go to the State of Florida’s website and put in the VIN (vehicle identification number). There, you can check the last recorded mileage on any vehicle. And best of all – it’s free to do. Carfax obviously suggests that you use their service to look up a vehicle’s history. But it’s also a good idea to have a mechanic check any used car you’re thinking about buying. They’ll be able to tell if a car has 80K miles on it or 280K. [Source: ABC Action News]


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