YUBA COUNTY, California (KCRA) — Imagine going to the DMV to register a Rolls-Royce you just paid for in cash, only to find out it was stolen. A man learned the hard way about a deal that seemed too good to be true.
The California Highway Patrol, which is now looking into the scam, said that man bought a 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost from a private party for only $50,000 in cash. But when he went to the DMV in Yuba City, DMV investigators noticed that the public VIN did not match another VIN. CHP was called in to help, and they noted that the VIN on the dash was “faker than reality shows.”
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“This one was a pretty blatant forgery,” CHP Yuba-Sutter vision spokesperson Brian Danielson said.
Investigators said the car was stolen in 2019, and that it was tied to a fraudulent dealer in Texas who sold the high-end car to the most recent seller for $150,000. That seller listed the Rolls-Royce for $50,000 because of the 50,000 miles on it and some mechanical issues. CHP said it seems the seller did not know the car was stolen.
Still, there were tell-tale signs that something was off. First: the $50,000 price tag. Danielson told KCRA 3 that the market value for a 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost is $150,000 to $200,000.
“This should always be a warning to a lot of people,” Danielson said. “When you’re looking at something that’s on the low-end, $100,000 less, that should be a pretty big red flag.”
Danielson also said there was a lack of paperwork, and that the vehicle did not have permanent license plates assigned, which is unusual for a 2015 vehicle.
Nicholas Borge is a manager at Prestige Wholesale, a car dealership in Sacramento that sells luxury brands. He told KCRA 3 that doing detailed research ahead of purchasing a high-end vehicle will help buyers make the right decision.
“Look at the price ranges. Kelley Blue Book is a good guide. CARFAX also helps a lot, too. You can look at the vehicle history, the number of previous owners. Even the color can affect the value of a vehicle,” Borge said. “All those things will help you make an informed purchase and do your due diligence so you come out on top.”
CHP said the vehicle was impounded and the rightful owner was notified.
When asked if the man who bought the Rolls-Royce is out $50,000, CHP said it thinks that is the case.
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