RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Odometer fraud is on the rise in North Carolina and if you're not careful, you could be duped. "We know in the Raleigh area there is about 13,100 vehicles that CarFax estimates had their odometers rolled back and that's actually a 32% increase from 2019 so that is not a good trend," said Emily Voss with Carfax.
Nationwide Carfax estimates more than 1.8 million vehicles on the road have had their odometer rolled back. That's a 23% increase over the previous year.
It's not hard to roll back an odometer. It actually takes less than one minute, with help of a rollback device you can buy on Amazon or eBay.
Josh Ingle, owner of Atlanta Speedometer, a company that specializes in instrument cluster repair, demonstrated just how fast it can happen. In a 2007 Chevy Silverado with 265,000 miles on it, he used the device and rolled the miles back to 85,000. "There is no recourse to tell it's been done. No digital footprint that it's been done, once this value is entered I can easily turn it back to 265,000 miles right now as well," said Ingle.
Criminals looking to take advantage of buyers are using these tools and taking advantage of loopholes in the law to alter mileage on used cars. Voss says rolling back the miles not only impacts what you pay for the car, but also what you pay to maintain it. "You will have some unexpected expenses for routine maintenance that you weren't expecting because a vehicle that has 85,000 miles has a very different maintenance schedule that has 265,000 as far as the needs of what needs to be repaired or replaced in that vehicle," she added.
Here is how you can avoid being a victim of odometer fraud.
First, always check the vehicle's history. You can do so by visiting carfax.com/odo, put in the VIN number of the vehicle and make sure the mileage continues to go up on the history report. Also, take the car for a test drive.
It's best to have a mechanic check it over and specifically look for odometer tampering.
Warning for used car shoppers: Odometer fraud on the rise in NC, up 32%
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