Beware of buying a vehicle with a fraudulent title; 3 people in Bexar County swindled out of thousands

Bexar County Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office offers guidelines for a safe, legitimate sale

SAN ANTONIO – Three people who bought a vehicle in Bexar County in the past week are out thousands of dollars following a fraudulent transaction.

According to the Bexar County Tax Assessor-Collector Albert Uresti, the buyers were swindled out of $10,000, $35,000, and $15,000 in cash, respectively, after being tricked into purchasing a vehicle with fraudulent or stolen titles.

Uresti said due to vehicles costing more and a shortage of inventory, many people are shopping for cars on social media. After the purchase is complete, the buyer goes to the county tax office to transfer the title into their name, only to find out that the vehicle is stolen or the title they have been given is fraudulent, and the seller has also used a fake identification.

“I cannot tell you how much it breaks my heart to see a family’s hard-earned money be stolen from them by such unscrupulous persons. We want the public to know that the Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office is a safe zone for them when purchasing a vehicle. Any person-to-person transaction, especially with cash, should be done in our office with both the buyer and seller present. If the seller will not come with you to our office, do NOT buy the car until you have verified the title and vehicle information,” Uresti said.

The Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office offers guidelines on how to ensure private auto purchases are safe and legitimate.

Buyers should ask the seller to meet them at the local Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office or one of the 19 full-service title companies in Bexar County to transfer the title before payment. This ensures that the title is valid and transferable. You can also visit the TxDMV website, which allows a buyer to search for certain title information based on the vehicle identification number. They can also call the Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office at 210-335-2251 to verify certain information.

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David Ibañez has been managing editor of since the website's launch in October 2000.

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