DMV issues warnings for auto dealer or repair shop scams

New York State

ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is warning about scams related to automobiles during National Consumer Protection Week. DMV said New Yorkers should be on the lookout for phishing scams and unethical business practices from auto dealers or repair shops.

DMV said they have recouped more than $12 million from recovered vehicle titles and auto dealers or repair shops for fraudulent work.

“If you believe you were wronged during a car sale or repair, our trained experts can help. Our website also offers guidance you should review before buying a car or having repairs done and offers tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of a phishing scam,” said DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder.

Scammers will sometimes pose as DMV and use text messages or email to “phish” for information, they said. DMV has a webpage with ways people can protect themselves from phishing scams and another webpage with examples of phishing text messages or emails.

DMV guidance for getting a vehicle repaired

  • Upon request, a repair shop must give customers a written estimate of the parts and labor necessary for each specific repair.
  • The estimate must list each part and its cost, and show what parts, if any, are either used or not of original quality. It must show the labor charges for each repair and by what method they are calculated. The shop may not charge more than the estimated price without your permission.
  • A shop cannot perform any services unless permission is given.
  • Customers are entitled to the return of all replaced parts, except warranty and exchange parts, but must ask for them in writing before any work is done. If work is authorized by phone, the shop must keep any replaced parts, and make them available when the vehicle is picked up.
  • When repairs are completed, the shop must give the customer a detailed invoice listing each repair done, each part replaced, the cost for each, and the cost of labor.
  • Customers have the right to inspect their vehicles at the shop before paying for repairs.

DMV is also warning customers to not leave key fobs for cars with keyless technology in vehicles, making them easier to steal.

A webpage is available to help consumers with the purchase of a vehicle, whether from a dealer or private seller. Consumers can also file a complaint with DMV against dealers or repair shops online. Phishing scams can be reported to dmv.sm.phishingattacks@dmv.ny.gov. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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