Do you know how to spot a curbsider? The Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC), the province’s regulator of vehicle sales, is helping consumers spot curbsiders with a new tool — the Creepometer.
Consumers should try to avoid contact with curbsiders, those creepy car sellers who push damaged, misrepresented or even stolen vehicles using unregulated online marketplaces like Kijiji and Craigslist.
OMVIC is advising vehicle buyers who buy privately to do their research so they do not fall victim to these con artists.
“Curbsiders are online predators — they are there only to take advantage of people and are able to operate anonymously and under the radar,” says Carey Smith, Director of Investigations for OMVIC.
“By advertising on unregulated online classified sites and using mobile phones, curbsiders can easily prey on consumers and disappear quickly once they’re detected,” says Smith. Industry research finds that 19 per cent of private online classified ads may be posted by curbsiders.
To help consumers, the province introduced tough new legislation for motor vehicle sales by Ontario-registered dealers. Consumers who buy from an Ontario-registered dealer benefit from all-in pricing, vehicle history disclosure, rescission rights and access to the Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund.
Before you buy privately, determine the creep factor. Here are seven ways you can avoid creepy curbsiders.
1. Look out for unusual stories.
2. Ask for a landline or work number to confirm the seller’s identity.
3. Make sure the seller’s name matches the vehicle’s ownership registration.
4. Have a licensed mechanic inspect the vehicle.
5. View the vehicle in person before you make any type of payment.
6. Meet the seller at their residence or workplace.
7. Ask for a Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP).