The success of the federal government's C.A.R.S. (Cash for Clunkers) program led to the creation of the 2009 Automotive Stimulus Program, a private plan run by some of the U.S.'s larger auto dealers. The creation of a second program, one that has different rules and isn't C.A.R.S., and the nature of the Internet has led to some scam sites that purport to be offering clunkers-style rebated but they're really collecting personal information from unsuspecting users. The auto dealers that are part of the ASP have issued a press release that warns against sites that talk about "pre-registering" or ask for credit card or social security numbers. Kind of a no-brainer there, but apparently the Nigerian prince emails worked, too. Also, we've noticed a few spam emails that talk about the clunkers rebate program. We haven't bothered to click on them for fear of causing all sorts of problems, but their subject lines are calling us from our spam folders.


PRESS RELEASE: Warns of Online Scams

Dealers Bail Out Cash For Clunkers With New Stimulus Plan

NEW YORK, Aug. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Some of the leading U.S. Automotive Retailers recently launched a dealer funded stimulus program to provide up to $4500 in incentives for consumers who were left behind by the government funded stimulus plan. Due to the rules of the government's program, over 90% of consumers are not eligible and consumers are not happy about it. Some of the largest retailers in the country recently launched the, a Stimulus Program that is more inclusive because all vehicles older than 2007 are eligible regardless of their current mpg.

The recent launch of the dealer stimulus plan sparked a nationwide wave of interest in the program, which provides up to $4,500 of trade-in credits to car-owners who trade in their vehicle for a more fuel efficient alternative. However, the flood of enthusiasm for the new dealer stimulus plan has led to the emergence of scams targeting consumers looking to benefit from the program., the official website for the dealer funded stimulus, has issued a warning to consumers and is providing specific instructions on how to avoid scams. "Consumers should be cautious because some scam sites have emerged that are attempting to fraudulently capture personal financial information to be used illegally," said Scott Fletcher, director of warns consumers to be wary of any site that asks for personal financial information. "Avoid any website that says you need to "pre-register," or asks you for your social security number or credit card number," said Fletcher. The organization is warning consumers not to give out their personal information on these scam sites because it could result in identity theft.

The organization has advised consumers, "You are not required to sign up for this program. Participating new car dealers will add a trade-in credit to your vehicles fair trade value, assuming it meets program requirements. Don't be fooled by fake websites that portray themselves as an official website for the dealer stimulus plan because there is only one official website for the national dealer funded stimulus program,," said Fletcher. The organization also advises consumers to make sure they receive all the manufacturer rebates in addition to the trade-in credits they receive for their qualifying vehicle.

Some local dealerships have implemented advertising campaigns that mislead consumers to think they are a part of the national dealer Stimulus Plan. To be safe, consumers are advised not to rely on local advertising and should visit the only national dealer-funded Stimulus Plan at

The dealer funded stimulus plan has gotten a lot of attention because it compensates for the gaps in the governments program by allowing consumers to purchase pre-owned vehicles and to choose a short term lease.

Automotive Stimulus Program Requirements:
1. Current vehicle is a 2006 or older
2. Current vehicle is operable
3. Current vehicle has been owned for a minimum of 6 months
4. Current vehicle has been registered for a minimum of 6 months
5. The replacement vehicle has to be more fuel efficient by a minimum
of 2mpg

Incentives vary based on the consumer's current vehicle and desired vehicle (visit for details). Incentives vary in some states due to state laws that regulate automotive advertising and promotion. The Auto Stimulus Plan will end on November 1st and will continue if the government's program expires before that date.

About is funded and promoted by some of the largest automotive retailers in the country. Participating dealers are domestic and import licensed new car dealers who have agreed to provide incentives for consumers to get a newer more fuel efficient vehicle. website and communication campaign was built by Level 5, an automotive marketing and consulting firm that specializes in creating and implementing integrated programs for Manufacturers, Associations and Retailers. This stimulus plan is a private program and is not affiliated with the government program. For more information about the governments program visit

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