Denver, Co. -- The Denver BBB’s public helpline has been jammed with calls from consumers all over the country asking about Stars Auto Mart, Inc. as well as a subsidiary, AutoAven, Inc. These entities run www.stars-automart.com and www.autoaven.com; very similar websites offering sales of repossessed vehicles.
Calls have been non-stop due to the fact that both websites falsely advertise the BBB logo and stars-automart.com even has the logo link to a fake BBB report that gives the company an A+ rating, reports no complaints on file and a business start date of January 1st, 1989.
The Denver BBB has sent a ‘cease and desist’ notice regarding the trademark infringement to each entity address. The Council of Better Business Bureaus’ legal team has also been contacted to expedite efforts in shutting down the fake BBB report link. Autoaven.com states that its location is at 10701 W 6th Ave, Denver, CO 80215, which is also false. This address belongs to BBB Accredited business, Automotive Avenues, Inc.
Furthermore, the BBB has already received complaints that the company is asking for a majority payment to be sent via MoneyGram to an address in Denver; once it is sent, all communication stops, the consumer never gets the car and is out thousands of dollars.
As of today, we have not received a response from the company regarding the trademark issues or the complaint issues. We are conducting a full investigation. Due to the fact the non-delivery and internet auction fraud were the top two complained about fraud types at the Internet Crime Complaint Center in 2008*, your BBB takes these matters very seriously and does not want any more consumers to be victimized.
Please follow these important guidelines when shopping online:
· Verify any organization credentials with the organization directly, (BBB, AutoTrader, Consumer Reports logos, etc.)
· Check the company’s BBB report at www.wisconsin.bbb.org. Only do business online with websites you are familiar with and have a positive track record.
· DO NOT wire transfer any payment. Wired funds cannot be traced and therefore cannot be recovered if you are a victim of fraud.
· If you have become a victim of fraud, contact your BBB and the Internet Crime Complaint Center, (www.ic3.gov) to file a complaint.
*Source: IC3 2008 Annual Report on Internet Crime