The Sacramento Police Department urges people to be careful when purchasing vehicles advertised online.
Auto theft detectives report an increase in residents unknowingly purchasing stolen vehicles.
To avoid becoming a victim, officials offer several tips:
Do not purchase a vehicle without a title, bill of sale or a release of liability.
Ask to see proper identification of the seller and make sure the photo matches.
Conduct your transaction during daylight hours and in a public place.
Have a friend accompany you.
Do your research before buying.
Know the fair market value of the vehicle your are purchasing. If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Anyone who doubts the legitimacy of the transaction can call the Sacramento Police Department Dispatch Center at (916) 264-5471.