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Wisconsin DOT creates online tool for customers to report dealer fraud

Source: Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Wisconsin DOT creates online tool for customers to report dealer fraud

The new tool comes as the DOT reports a rise in fraud cases involving wholesale car dealers in Wisconsin.

February 8, 2024 10:04 AM CDT

By: Jimmie Kaska

MADISON, Wis. (WMDX) – The Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Transportation have created an online tool for customers to report dealer fraud.

The new tool comes as the DOT reports a rise in fraud cases involving wholesale car dealers in Wisconsin.

In a release, the DOT said that 32 wholesale dealer licenses, mostly held by people out of state, were revoked. While many were because the dealers didn’t keep a business facility, others were due to unlicensed retail sales to customers, fake title statements, and odometer rollbacks.

Two wholesale dealers had rolled back over 6 million miles on 64 vehicles, according to the DOT.

“The tremendous growth in the number wholesale dealers, many of whom are out-of-state dealer owners, puts consumers at risk from unscrupulous businesses who abuse their wholesale license,” Tommy Winkler, Wisconsin DMV Administrator, said. “Not only are consumers hurt, Wisconsin dealers who do business the right way are getting a bad name from those who abuse their wholesale license.”

Wisconsin is one of a few states that allows Centralized Dealer Operations, which are large facilities that can house several hundred licensed wholesale dealers at the same time in one shared space. Wholesalers aren’t supposed to sell vehicles to the public, but the DOT said that they’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of licenses for wholesale dealers as well as consumer complaints.

The DOT said that since 2018, the number of licenses for wholesale dealers in Wisconsin has grown by 1,194%, with 90% of all licenses issued to out-of-state people.

An online tool was created to address consumer complaints for car dealers. Anyone that wants to record a complaint can do so at the DMV’s website.

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