you just have to trust the seller/owner. I can smell bullshit from a mile away, just by the conversation. It's critical to talk for a while and ask super detailed questions. Next step would be a carfax/auto check. Then maybe the seller will meet you a few hours closer (best case scenario). The more questions you ask, the better off you will be. You can buy sight unseen on Ebay etc but you better have a steep discount, just in case you end up with a pile of shit. Pictures can be bull shit so you have to be very very careful. I remember the first Viper I went to see. I was so ****ing pissed. The online pictures showed a mint car (it was a dealership). When I showed up it looked like the Viper had been ran over by a 53 foot trailer.