Beware of fake auto dealer website that claims to be Portland-based, BBB says
September 8, 2020
Better Business Bureau Northwest and Pacific is warning that a fake auto sales website has been using a counterfeit BBB profile while lacking accreditation.
The website, www.sapaautosales.com, claims to be based in Portland, Oregon. At the bottom of the site is what looks like a BBB accreditation logo, which is linked to a convincing page that looks like a BBB business profile.
The company has been using a counterfeit profile — at the URL www.bbb-accredited-businesses.com — to deceive consumers, according to a BBB press release, and has allowed shoppers to submit and review complaints.
A page on the BBB’s actual website shows that the auto sales site was created Aug. 10, 2020, and had previously been operating as Autosmart Solutions out of Seattle. Consumers reported paying Autosmart Solutions money to have a car shipped to them and never receiving the car nor a refund, according to BBB.
BBB reports not being able to reach Autosmart Solutions, which didn’t have the proper credentials to transport vehicles and wasn’t registered with the Washington Secretary of State.
“Consumers should be aware that all BBB-sanctioned business profiles are located at www.bbb.org,” a BBB press release reads. “Users directed to any other website are asked to contact their local Better Business Bureau immediately.”
A second fake profile was found for a company named SEB Freight. According to BBB’s actual website, SEB Freight is based in Concord, New Hampshire, and was also displaying an “accredited” seal that linked to a fake profile.