State shuts down Bloomington car dealership suspected of scamming foreign IU students

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The state has ordered a Bloomington auto dealer to shut down after officials say the dealership scammed foreign students at Indiana University.

“We have been looking into them for a couple of months now,” said Indiana Secretary of State communications director Valerie Warycha.

The sign at H-Auto has been taken down. The store shut down for reportedly illegally selling cars and issuing fake license plates.

“It is these unlicensed dealers that we have a problem with. We need the public’s help to track them down and bring charges against them,” said Warycha.

State officials say half a dozen people complained about the business. Investigators say the company was targeting Asian students at Indiana University.

“They are advertising in Chinese which attracts the foreign students that are there at IU. A lot of the times, these students come and they have the cash to buy a car,” said Warycha.

Once those students handed over the cash, officials say H-Auto would give them a fake New Jersey license plate. Other complaints say H-Auto took their money but never gave them a title. Tim Maniscalo, President of the Better Business Bureau in central Indiana, says people need to do their research before doing business.

“If you are going to buy a car at a dealership you need to make certain that dealer is licensed and that they are legit,” said Maniscalo.

According to H-Auto I-Carrect's website, they began business in 2015 to help serve Chinese international students so they are not swindled or ripped off. We called the number listed on their website, but no answer.

“Buying a car is a significant purchase for anyone. Just do a little bit of homework,” said Maniscalo.

The Secretary of State and Bloomington police are still investigating the case and ask anyone who was scammed by H-Auto to give them a call.

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