AG Shapiro cracks down on car dealers falsely advertising as individual sellers online

Attorney General Josh Shapiro announcing legal actions filed against auto dealers and salespeople in 11 counties in Pennsylvania for violating consumer protection laws and deceptively advertising motor vehicles.

The announcement was in regards to an advertising sweep that targeted auto dealers and their salespeople who advertised vehicles for sale without making a clear that the sale was being conducted by a dealer, which is a disclosure required by law.

All auto dealers involved in the sweep were advertised on Craigslist as individual sellers rather than as dealers while providing insufficient information to customers viewing their postings.

"These car dealerships used deceptive advertising and were dishonest with Pennsylvania consumers," Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. "Car buyers are making a significant investment, and they need to have full knowledge of whom they are buying from. When businesses skirt that process and violate the law, we will hold them accountable and force change in behavior."

The investigation targeted car dealers on websites like Craigslist in the "for sale by owner" section. The information that they were being sold by a dealership was not disclosed in the advertisement. The Office of Attorney General collected more than $10,500.00 in civil penalties and costs for the illegal advertisement of at least 178 vehicles to potential buyers.

The following businesses were involved in the sweep according to Shapiro's office, and have agreed not to violate the Consumer Protection Law and Auto Regulations and, specifically, not to deceptively advertise their vehicles:

Attorney General Shapiro urges anyone who believes they have been a victim of a scam or disreputable business practice to please contact the Office of Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection at 800-441-2555 or visit to file a complaint.