Curbstoning – A Form of Car Sales Fraud

Crime is everywhere and all around us. Not all crime is requires the use of stun guns or pepper spray to thwart a potential assault or robbery. Some crimes are perpetrated by white collar or blue collar people who take advantage of others when they least expect it. polovni avtomobili

By pretending to be private sellers, curbstoners are circumventing the law by selling their cars on the street.

What is curbstoning?

Curbstoning in the practice of auto dealers pretending to be private sellers when selling their cars. Used car dealers engaged in this practice as a way to sell cars of substandard quality to unsuspecting buyers. Perhaps there is a street or parking lot near your residence where there are several cars up for sale. Many of these cars are placed in public view by “curbstoners.” Hence the name because they park the cars along the curb. Many of these curbstoned vehicles may very well be lemons or junk cars that car dealers could not sell on their lots to make a decent profit.

Crooked car dealers use this technique as a way to go around state laws regarding the sale of cars. States have enacted legislation that puts a cap on how many cars a private individual may buy and sell in a given period of time without having to be a licensed auto dealer. Licensed car dealers have requirements that they have to meet in order to stay in business. Curbstoners do not.

Internet Sales-A New Breed of Curbstoners

The internet is a new way for curbstoners to pawn off their cars. It is easy for sellers to conceal both their identity and location from buyers and government agencies that try to keep an eye on them. Auction powerhouse eBay has become the preferred site for crooked sellers looking to scam unsuspecting buyers.

How does curbstoning work?

Before a curbstoner can screw over a buyer, they must have a junk car to sell. These cars are typically obtained at the low rent auto auctions held at wrecking yard and towing company impound lots. These cars are then “prepped” for sale despite the numerous mechanical problems.

From there, many of these cars are placed on eBay, AutoTrader, AutoMart, and many other sites. These scammers use many other scamming methods while conducting their online sales with affinity fraud being one of the more popular techniques. Another popular technique is using low-resolution photos. Poor quality photos can easily hide cracked windshields, dents, rust, faded paint, and scratches.

Government Agencies are Limited in Combatting Curbstoning

States have agents assigned to thwart curbstoning. However, there are not enough agents to do this job because they have other duties to attend to. For this reason, there are very few sanctions against curbstoners. Criminal convictions are minimal. States can reprimand licensed dealers who engaged in curbstoning, but even this is not enough.

Auction website, eBay, has also employed methods to combat curbstoning. eBay will suspend any account holder and cooperate with law enforcement. What happens many times, however, is that once an account is suspended, the crooked sellers simply open up a new user id and re-engage in crooked sales.

If you are in the marketing for a used car, and the seller does not have a title in their name, beware. A buyer purchasing a used car from an unlicensed seller runs a high risk that:

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