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Curbstoning in Canada's Capital City

Flag_of_Canada.svg.pngAn Ottawa man is convicted of illegally selling vehicles, many of them without airbags, and buyers had no idea. Read the whole story from CTV Ottawa by clicking here.

Update: TMVC closes curbstoning complaint with warning

tn-seal.pngIn January, we brought you this post about a Tennesse sherrif accused of curbstoning. The Tennessee 
Motor Vehnicle Commission is closing the case, but issued a warning letter to the sherrif in question. Click here to read more from the Cleveland Daily Banner.

Colorado Closer to Passing Curbstoning Law

Flag_of_Colorado.svg.pngLast month, the Colorado House of Representatives passed a bill cracking down on curbstoning. The bill still needs to pass the Senate before it reaches the governor's office. Click here to read more about the legislation from The Daily Sentinel.

Guest Blog: Buying a car on Craigslist? Know who you are buying from!

From The Official Blog of the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation

shutterstock_622092908.jpgConsumers often consider buying from a private seller as an alternative to buying from a used car dealer. An increasingly common scam involves dealers posing as private sellers and posting vehicles under the “for sale by-owner” section of Craigslist.  This practice is also known as “curbstoning.”

One version of this scam involves licensed dealers who partner with an unlicensed individual who poses as the vehicle’s owner on Craigslist. The seller completes the transaction somewhere other than the dealership, but the name of the dealership may not be on the title and purchase documents. Then, if the buyer contacts the seller about problems with the car, the seller says it was never their car. If the consumer contacts the dealership, the dealer may say that they’re not responsible because the car was sold offsite.

Another version of this scam involves unlicensed dealers who fraudulently purchase cars at wholesale auctions by paying a licensed dealer to use their auction license number.  They may also obtain their cars through a title skipping scam in which they target individuals who need to sell their car quickly, pay a low cash price for the car and re-sell it for a much higher price without putting their own name on the title. According to Massachusetts state law, anyone who sells more than three cars in a twelve month period is considered a dealer and must have a Class 2 dealer license.

The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation can provide helpful information to consumers who have been victimized by these types of scams:

  • Print out a copy of the Craigslist ad. It may come in handy if the original post has expired. Even if we can’t connect the unlicensed seller with a licensed dealer, the unlicensed seller must participate in a Lemon Law hearing if they sold three or more cars or if they took a fee to sell the car for someone else.
  • Attempt to contact both the seller and the dealership (if you have the dealerships contact information). Regardless of where you bought the car and whether it was new or used, you may have rights under the state’s Lemon Law protections. If the car has over 125,000 miles then the dealer is bound by the Implied Warranty of Merchantability.
  • Contact the licensing authority for the city or town where the dealership is located. Selling cars in the scenarios previously described is illegal and dealers can lose their licenses, and both licensed and unlicensed dealers can be fined.
  • Contact our office. We recently assisted five consumers who had problems with cars they purchased on Craigslist, and who thought they were buying from private sellers.
  • Check out our blogs on curbstoning and private party sales. The information can help you determine if you might be buying a car from a curbstoner.

If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer. The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for all Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s Lemon Laws, data breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs and the state’s Do Not Call Registry.

Connect with Stop Curbstoning on Social Media!

stop-curbstoning-logo.jpgMake sure you follow Stop Curbstoning on Facebook and Twitter for more updates! Bookmark our website and blog, too, so you're always in the know.

Georgia City Warns of Curbstoning

Rome-Police-Department-829439-edited.jpgThe police department in Rome, Georgia, recently trained officers on Georgia's curbstoning law. Click here to read more from the Coosa Valley News.
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Can You Detect Collision Damage?


Uncover the telltale signs of collision damage with this free field guide from Stop Curbstoning.



california stop curbstoning case study

Find out how much one curbstoner can cost your city in this special report from Stop Curbstoning.



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