Craigslist Vehicle History Report VinInsights Scam

scamI purchased a new vehicle this week, and the old one went up for sale on Craigslist. I’m used to Internet scams but this one was pretty good.

Here’s how it went down.

Vehicle History Report Scam

The “buyer” began a conversation and asked if the vehicle was available and about maintenance records. After I answered, they came up with another dumb question. Finally, on the third email, after I offered up a CarFax report, they asked me to visit

Red flag.

Sine I work in Internet marketing I quickly noticed that redirects users to a website with a unique identifier and then shoots me over to

I’m not sure if is the scam or not or if the “marketer” is trying to make an affiliate commission on the $25 purchase.

Credit Card Theft?

After searching the web, I noticed this article from the BBB. Apparently, these fake sites are popping up in 2018. You go to the site, order your VIN report, and the thieves have your credit card information.

Trolling the Scammer

I kind of enjoy messing with scammers, so I went ahead and told “Michael Jones” that I purchased the report, but, I sold my vehicle before I could send him the report.

The scammer is going to be wondering why they didn’t get their referral fee or what is wrong once they hear that I completed the purchase successfully and they made $0 on it. hehe

Legitimate Title Reports

VehicleHistory.GOV lists legitimate title history reporting websites on their site. Surprisingly, CarFax is not one of them, however, many title searches begin at 6 bucks.

Did you fall for this scam?

Don’t worry! It happens to all of us and this one was pretty good. A lot of people only sell a car once in a great while. If you were scammed please let others know what happened in the comments section below.

I searched for sites using the identical text as VinInsights and found other sites which could be a scam as well (not sure) including and


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  1. FWIW, the safecart link I was being sent was

  2. Glad I looked this up. Working in IT I am usually hard to fake out. But this one was just about to get me, I almost fell for it but then the tech in me said do a bit more digging before you put in your CC info. I have sold many cars in my past but they used to be so simple. No one wants to look anymore. I got this message after several email back and forth about my car and thought that is strange:

    “Sorry for late response, I would like to see a history report for your Cherokee. If you don’t own it, I would like to suggest if you can obtain it from They’re the most detailed report at this time and definitely way cheaper. I don’t want to get one on my own because it will become useless for me if we don’t make a deal. You could always use it as great sales tool to another interestedbuyer if our deal falls through. If everything is clean with the report, I would like to proceed with the deal and you can add cost of report to the vehicle price.”

    So the ling to takes me to and there starts the process. But again after selling cars a few times I remembered one thing. I shouldn’t have to pay to sell my car. If they want it they will pay for it and look it up. The buyer could have easily asked for the VIN to look it up himself if he was serious.

    Thanks for the post, I am glad I wasn’t caught.

    • Thanks Mike! Glad it helped someone. That is sound advice!! “I shouldn’t have to pay to sell my car”… Yeah they were pretty smooth…

  3. I am glad I looked up this service. Sounds like a scam to me. I have sold several vehicles on my own and never had a seller ask for a report. One had run their own report. This buyer said, “If everything is clean with the report, I would like to proceed with the deal and you can add cost of report to the vehicle price.” So I asked if I could use a service that was cheaper so that if he did not buy it then I would not be out as much money. He insisted I used VINInsights. So now I really don’t feel comfortable so I asked if I could use CarFax since I have used them and only add the $25 (VININsights fee) to the purchase price and I would eat the rest. Waiting to hear back from him. Bet he doesn’t answer or still insists on VINInsights. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  4. Same here! Motorcycle ad on Craigslist, a guys asks me for a VIN report. I send him one, he says he wants me to do another one and to go to “getinsightscheck” which directs to the website you have mentioned in your post. Fortunately I did not do it.

    • Thank you for your comment! Only a handful of people have stopped by to leave a message, but rest assured thousands of people are reading this article. This is way bigger than I had ever dreamed of. I almost didn’t write about it – glad I did, and glad that other people are chiming in! 🙂

  5. Just had same thing, thanks:

    I really think Carfax is not dependable . I checked the history of the sister’s car last summer , accident that we reported a year ago wasn’t included. I’d suggest you since they are dependable source but still not charging a lot comparing to others . I won’t check it by myself , if the history turns bad I won’t be interested in you car so I’m stuck with records that I can’t use , however you can show it to another interested party always .

  6. Just got a message from a ‘buyer’ using almost the exact same spiel as Mike posted above. I almost took the bait but decided to do a little digging which led me here. Thinking I’ll wait a day or so and use your, ‘purchased report and already sold it’ line. Thank you for taking the time to post this up.

  7. Just had this happen today, thanks for the post

  8. Wow, my experience is exactly that of Renaldos above. I like your “play with scammer”, might try that today. So far (until just now discovering this “scam”), I thought buyer was legit & asked him whether he’s local, & if so to stop by & have a look at my car & that if he’s interested I will order a report on the spot … bet I don’t hear from him…

  9. I just had the same thing happening to me, more than once now. I had listed my bike last fall and fell for one of those scams. After a second “buyer” asked me to get a VIN report from a different site, because the one I had wasn’t from a reliable source, a light bulb went on in my head. I just answered him that as soon as he would show up at my door to inspect the bike, I would instantly get that report for him. Never heard from him again.
    A week ago, I listed the bike again and now I’ve had already 2 guys responding and asking me for a VIN report.
    The dumbest one is where a guy asked me if I had a Paypal acct, and said he’d transfer the money PLUS $ 1000, so I could pay the mover hired by him to pick up the bike. Then you get some emails from a fake Paypal site, telling you that you have received money, which is obviously not the case.
    The first red flag to me, is when you got a reaction on your listing within minutes from posting the ad. I think those scammers must run some program that automatically notifies them of new listings on Paypal.

  10. This one almost got me. I’m glad I did a search. Thanks for the info.

  11. Selling bike on Craigslist and the potential “buyer” wanted a usainsights vin report. I questioned this and did a search. This site was the first one that popped up. Thanks for letting people know about these scams.

  12. Received several emails regarding a sale we had posted on Craigslist. He wanted the VIN for the bike…wouldn’t reach us by phone because he was having “technical” issues. Good grief! He gae me the same vin report site. Total scammer! No additional info was shared with him thank goodness!

  13. i got a guy pulling this VIN crap on me right now. says his name is Carlos Ansell. Thank you for this site.

  14. Red Flag! Looked online to verify, and this site popped up. THANKS!!!!

  15. Got the exact same situation as all of the above people have stated. Some guy wanting to buy my bike on Craig’s list and wants a VIN report from Didn’t seem legit so I checked into it on line and the scammer used the exact same wording as others have reported. I told him twice I didn’t have a report and was not getting one. He continued to persist three more times. Many red flags. Glad I trusted my gut, trust yours. It never lies.

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