Buyer Beware! County Officials Remind Drivers to Get Proper Documentation When Buying Vehicle

Friday, October 8, 2010 - 9:29am

Stolen cars come and go to and from Mexico quite regularly according to one Cameron County official.

With the continual laundering of vehicle titles and vehicles being sold illegally, the Tax Assessor- Collectors office is warning, “Buyers Beware”!

Officials say about 90% of the people who come in with a fake title are victims, but they're still subject to being questioned.

"When we see a stolen vehicle come through our office, not only is the paperwork seized, but the the individual is interrogated and the vehicle is seized." said Cameron Co. Tax Assessor-Collector, Tony Yzaguirre.

The title registration office has clerks who are trained to spot a fake, those created on the wrong paper, lacking the proper water marks, and those that have been altered. They say they've seen washed titles as well as those with changed VIN numbers.

Before you buy a vehicle, the Tax Assessor- Collector’s office recommends making a five minute call, it could save you from getting ripped off.

"We have a database that's connected to Mexico City, a database connected to the Department of Public Safety and a database connected to the National Insurance Crime Bureau."

When you call the office, they'll run the cars VIN number and tell you if it's been reported stolen or not, that number is 574-8162.

According to Yzaguirre, 816 stolen vehicles have been recovered in the “Buyers Beware” programs ten year existence.

On top of stolen vehicles and fake titles, here are a few other problems car buyers may run into...if they're not careful who they buy from...

The vehicle may be salvaged or reconditioned without the seller disclosing that information, you may not be able to get a clear title or the vehicle may have a lien on it.

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