Odometer Fraud Surges 14% Nationally

A rolled-back odometer not only misrepresents a vehicle's value, but can also lead to unexpected maintenance costs for the buyer.

CARFAX-odometer-rollback-fraud
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The rising trend of odometer fraud in the U.S. has hit a new peak, with approximately 2.1 million vehicles now affected---a 14% increase since 2021, according to new data from CARFAX.

Odometer rollbacks, a fraudulent practice where car mileage is deceitfully reduced, have long been a trick in the used car market. 

"Odometer fraud didn't go away with the introduction of digital odometers," said Patrick Olsen, editor in chief at CARFAX. "The number of vehicles with a rolled-back odometer continues to rise year-over-year." 

This deceit not only misrepresents a vehicle's value, but can also lead to unexpected maintenance costs for the buyer.

The rise in such fraud coincides with the ongoing high prices in the used car market, making it an attractive scheme for scammers. According to CARFAX, a rolled-back car can cost an unsuspecting buyer an average of $4,000 in lost value. Furthermore, the ease of rolling back digital odometers today, often taking mere minutes, adds to the prevalence of this issue.

The states most impacted by this trend include California, with 469,000 vehicles affected, followed by Texas and New York, showing increases of 12.8% and 9% respectively. Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, Virginia and North Carolina also feature prominently on this list. Virginia was the only state among the top 10 where the numbers remained unchanged.

To combat this issue, CARFAX offers a free Odometer Fraud Check and provides tips for consumers to protect themselves.

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