How to avoid buying a flood damaged vehicle following a hurricane

Posted at 5:16 AM, Sep 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-30 07:24:32-04

The National Insurance Crime Bureau is warning consumers to make sure they research that used vehicle they've had their eyes on before purchasing it.

According to NICB, Hurricane Dorian and Tropical Storm Imelda have flooded thousands of cars, which is "presenting the potential for fraudsters to prey on innocent used car buyers."

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To prevent consumers from losing money by purchasing a vehicle that has flood damage, NICB is offering a free tool called VINCheck that allows consumers to check a vehicle for "red flags."

"This tool is designed to help consumers determine if a car has been reported as stolen, but not recovered, or has been reported as a salvage or total loss vehicle by working with cooperating NICB member insurance companies," said Brooke Kelley, vice president of communications for NICB. "Following any major hurricane or storm we unfortunately see fraudsters try and scam consumers by selling cars that have been impacted by flooding, and this tool is a clear and easy way to protect consumers and one of the most utilized resources on our website."

To check for "red flags" of the used vehicle you are thinking of buying, click here.