There were over 120,000 reported auto fraud and scam cases in the U.S. in 2020. Drivers who are unfortunate to do business with a dishonest mechanic or dealership can be tricked out of hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

Auto fraud comes in many different forms. Mechanics may overcharge or double charge for services, make unnecessary repairs, fake malfunctions, price gouge, or charge for unused parts. Car dealerships may lie about a buyer's credit score, sell useless warranties or unnecessary products, and charge high interest rates. These practices are much more common in some states than others.

To determine the worst states for auto fraud, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed a list compiled by insurance marketplace Clearsurance, which based its list on data from the Federal Trade Commission. States were ranked based on the per capita number of auto-related fraud cases.

The rate of auto fraud varies widely from state to state. Most states reported between 140 and 250 cases per million residents in 2020. In three states, there were fewer than 100 cases per million, but in eight states, there were more than 300 cases of auto fraud per million residents.

In Arizona, auto fraud complaints are more likely than in the typical state. Drivers in the state reported 260.6 incidents of auto fraud per million residents in 2020 -- the 14th highest rate among all states. The median among all states is 187.9 cases per million residents. In total, Arizona residents reported 1,897 cases of auto fraud in 2020, the 13th highest figure among states.

To determine the worst states for auto fraud, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed a list compiled by insurance marketplace Clearsurance, which based its list on data from the Federal Trade Commission. States were ranked based on the per capita number of auto-related fraud cases.

 

StateTotal 2020 auto fraud cases2020 auto fraud cases per 1 millionRank
Alabama820167.231
Alaska107146.339
Arizona1,897260.614
Arkansas491162.734
California6,374161.335
Colorado1,510262.212
Connecticut1,137318.94
Delaware329337.92
Florida7,2383373
Georgia3,221303.48
Hawaii200141.342
Idaho341190.825
Illinois2,042161.136
Indiana1,332197.923
Iowa496157.237
Kansas21373.149
Kentucky882197.424
Louisiana680146.338
Maine17212847
Maryland1,893313.16
Massachusetts10615.450
Michigan1,427142.940
Minnesota779138.143
Mississippi591198.622
Missouri1,940316.15
Montana143133.846
Nebraska350180.927
Nevada1,066346.11
New Hampshire404297.19
New Jersey2,352264.811
New Mexico477227.518
New York3,392174.429
North Carolina2,569244.917
North Dakota105137.845
Ohio3,5543047
Oklahoma712179.928
Oregon688163.133
Pennsylvania3,338260.713
Rhode Island8075.548
South Carolina1,314255.216
South Dakota122137.944
Tennessee1,773259.615
Texas4,765164.332
Utah454141.641
Vermont130208.319
Virginia2,376278.410
Washington1,305171.430
West Virginia358199.821
Wisconsin1,177202.120
Wyoming107184.926