Curbstoning is Another Form of Auto Dealer Fraud
As you already guessed, curbstoning is another form of auto dealer fraud. This type of fraud is practised by auto dealers who represent themselves as independent private car sellers. They do this on the street, that’s why their practice got the name of curbstoning from the word “curb”. You will ask why they need to do this. The answer is that the cars sold in such a scenario are usually lemons, junk or wrecked cars, cars having major accidents i.e. cars that are not allowed to be sold by dealerships. So, this practice of car selling can already be considered auto dealer fraud. No need to mention that car buyers are completely ignorant of the fact that the car is a lemon or that the actual car seller is not the previous owner of the car but an unscrupulous car dealer.
There are certain state laws regarding car sales, which limit dealerships’ steps. So, some dealerships try to sell lemons using this form of auto dealer fraud.
Usually, curbstoners advertise their cars on the Internet; in eBay, for example. They use various tricks to cancel the car’s real condition; for example, they can use low-resolution photos. Low-quality photos hide car defects, scratches, cracked doors, etc.
Curbstoning is punished by the law. Each state has agents combating this scam. But they are not specified in this field, so they have other responsibilities as well which do not let them always detect such an auto dealer fraud. So, it is up to the car consumers to educate themselves and be extremely careful to detect curbstoning.
Here are some tips to avoid this scam;
- If you are thinking of buying a car online, ask for the clear copies of images and documents. Compare the names in the document with those listed in the advertisement. If they do not match, do not buy the car. Note that we do not recommend buying a car online.
- Have the car inspected by a mechanic. Do not trust the one recommended by the car seller. A good mechanic can spot defects, no one can.
- Before taking the car to a mechanic, perform some little inspection of the car interior and exterior yourself.
- There are various online sources selling car history reports. Buy one (from CarFax for example) and examine it carefully.
- If the car has more than two transfers on it, then it has been taken from one state to another to be registered anew, so we can surely say there is something wrong with the vehicle.
- While searching for a car to buy, buy it from a reputable dealership. Avoid buying a car from a private seller. To see whether the dealership is a good or a bad one, you can just search it in the Internet and see whether it is a reputable one or not. Also, check BBB to see whether it has any complaints on it or not.
Hope, our tips to avoid such a form of auto dealer fraud as curbstoning, will be useful.