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Before Buying, Check That Car Is Not Storm- Damaged

Website Helps Steer Clear Of Scams

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo issued a consumer alert warning used car buyers from purchasing storm-damaged cars.

A link on the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website, www.nicb.org/theft_ and_ fraud_ awar eness/vincheck, allows consumers to immediately determine whether a used vehicle is a “flood car” from Hurricane Sandy or damaged following other storms or circumstances.

Approximately 400,000 vehicles were flooded following last October’s storm.

“The monumental devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy left an opening for unscrupulous individuals to try to sell salvaged vehicles to unsuspecting consumers,” said Cuomo. “The information posted on DMV’s website can help consumers avoid the costly expense of purchasing a flood damaged vehicle.”

The National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) VINCheck permits anyone to enter the vehicle identification number (VIN) to determine the status of the vehicle. If the vehicle had been declared as salvage by a VINCheck-participating NICB member insurance company, the NICB site reports both the date of loss and the cause of the damage.

DMV Commissioner Barbara J. Fiala added, “The link on our website provides consumers a fast and easy way to discover whether the vehicle they are looking at is still road worthy.”

NICB President and CEO Joe Wehrle said, “We are united in our efforts to prevent fraud and protect innocent consumers from unknowingly buying a vehicle that has been salvaged as a result of Sandy. NICB appreciates the opportunity to help protect consumers that Commissioner Fiala has given us by hosting the VINCheck link on the DMV website.”

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