Woman talking(l+r), CarMax(c)

Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock @mrshappilyeverafter/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Here I am, out like $25K-$30K’: Woman buys used car, gets caught up in fraud involving CarMax

'It had a clean CARFAX report.'


Natasha Dubash


Posted on Feb 21, 2024   Updated on Feb 22, 2024, 10:23 pm CST

A TikToker says she bought a used car, only to find out it had been reported stolen by CarMax, even though nothing came up on the CARFAX report. 

Brooke Carver (@mrshappilyeverafter) shared her story a week ago, tagging CarMax and CARFAX in the process. 

Carver said that in December, four detectives showed up at her home and took her car. She said, “They told me that last July, when I bought the car, I’d actually purchased a stolen vehicle, even though it had a clean CARFAX report.” Carver added that not only did she have the CARFAX report, she had California Highway Patrol do a VIN check on the car’s history, which also came back clean. 

The driver said she had the necessary paperwork, including insurance and a pink slip in her name, to prove the car belonged to her, but despite it all, the authorities still took her car. Carver said the police told her that since she had been the victim of fraud, she should file a “theft by deception claim” with her insurance provider and that the insurance provider would take care of it.

Carver said she did just that but, “State Farm didn’t cover [her] claim on a technicality.” In an exchange via Instagram direct message with the Daily Dot, Carver clarified that the technicality was that “no coverage is given to a vehicle that has been apprehended by a government official.”

However, she added about the apprehended vehicle, “I obviously had NO idea any of this was happening until [December] when the detectives took my car.” 

She also clarified that what seems to have happened is that someone purchased the car at CarMax using a stolen identity. When she purchased the car, it still hadn’t been reported as stolen, which was likely why she received a clear CARFAX report and was unaware of its record.

“So here I am, still out like $25 to $30 grand,” she said in her TikTok post. Trying to fix the situation, she said she tried to buy the car back from the impound lot, but when she reached out to the detective on the case, she was informed that the car had been returned to CarMax and that it was selling it at the full manufacturer’s suggested retail price, with a reconstituted title that would show no record of it being a stolen vehicle.

“So you mean CarMax, who got an insurance payout last year … is still allowed to resell the car at full MSRP with no theft on the CARFAX. … Something seems fishy there,” she said.

A CarMax representative denied this claim. “We did not receive an insurance payout and are unable to sell the car at full MSRP,” they told the Daily Dot in a statement.

The representative also told the Daily Dot that it has been “working closely” with Carver for a week and that while it was “not at all involved in the sale to Mrs. Carver, [it] offered to research the issue to see how [it] might be able to help her.”

“We also continue to work with the authorities to identify those responsible for these crimes. We don’t want anyone to be in this situation and believe the best way to avoid purchasing a stolen vehicle is to work with a reputable, licensed dealer,” the representative continued.

@mrshappilyeverafter #stitch with @Kabba Gabba @CARFAX @CarMax ♬ original sound – Mrs.HappilyEverAfter•1:1 coach

Carver received 1.8 million views on her video, and several commenters expressed their disbelief at her situation. 

In a follow-up video, Carver said that someone from the executive branch of CarMax reached out to her wanting to know more about her side of the story after her initial TikTok post.

However, as of a third update, it seems CarMax has only tried to negotiate with State Farm, Carver’s insurance company, to see if it would reconsider her claim. “[Carmax] will not allow me to buy back the car at wholesale price. They will not offer me a vehicle, and they will not give me any discounts at any CarMax locations,” she says.

Carver added in her messages to the Daily Dot that she only wanted “a FAIR resolution for all parties.” 

“I understand that CarMax got [defrauded], but as a result of their inability to properly identify their buyer, I ALSO got [defrauded]. ALL of my suggestions for a fair resolution were denied, including me buying the car BACK from them at a discounted rate (so we both took half a loss) or even just a discount on a future purchase with CarMax. I wasn’t looking for a free handout, but rather for the big fish to consider the situation and choose to meet in the middle instead of leaving the little guy out to dry,” she said.

As of now, Carver’s other hope is that State Farm will reopen her claim. The Daily Dot reached out to her via Instagram direct message for more updates, as well as to CARFAX and State Farm for further information. 

This story has been updated.

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*First Published: Feb 21, 2024, 9:00 pm CST