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Fraud scheme targeting dealers within a day's drive of Chicago

April 6, 2018
Law enforcement officers have recently become aware of a Chicago-based fraud scheme impacting automobile dealerships. The scheme is carried out by identity thieves who make initial contact with a dealership as the result of an internet sales advertisement. 
The fraudsters typically target used vehicles ranging in value from $40,000 to $60,000. The "sale" of the vehicle is arranged via telephone and email. The "buyer" will sign documents and return them via express parcel service if asked to do so. 
The "buyer" typically asks the dealership to deliver the vehicle to the Chicago area and will push the dealer to do so as soon as possible once all documents related to the financing and transfer of the vehicle have been completed.
Any dealership that has been the target of this fraud scheme should notify Investigator Isaiah Hoff of the Dubuque, Iowa Police Department via email at