Drive away from fraud: beware of curbers

DATE: | Consumer bulletins

It’s the second week of Fraud Prevention Month and this week we have tips on how to recognize the signs you may be dealing with a curber a.k.a an unlicensed, illegal seller.

Automotive sales businesses in Alberta as well as service and repair, consignment, lease, wholesalers and agent/brokers are required by law to be licensed with AMVIC.


Curbers often pose as private sellers and typically sell stolen, damaged or odometer-tampered vehicles.

Consumers who buy these vehicles are often disappointed and find that when problems surface, the seller is gone and they have limited recourse.

If you choose to buy privately you should be aware of how to recognize the signs that you may be dealing with a curber:

  • The seller has multiple vehicle ads. Private sellers typically have one vehicle for sale, not an inventory. Also watch for the same email and phone number in multiple ads.
  • The seller refuses a test drive or inspection.
  • The seller is anxious to make a sale. Do not feel guilt-tripped or rushed into a major purchase even if the seller tells you a heartfelt story.

You can also use our curber warning system to spot an illegal, unlicensed seller.

If you suspect a curber or think you might be the victim of curbing, contact AMVIC right away. You can call toll-free at 1-877-979-8100 or file a complaint online.

Use AMVIC’s searchable database to be sure the business you are dealing with is properly licensed.

AMVIC has joined the Competition Bureau’s Fraud Prevention Forum partners in committing to raising awareness on fraud and educating consumers on how to recognize, reject and report fraud.

Join the conversation online: Follow AMVIC and #FPM2017 on Twitter and Facebook for more tips from Alberta’s automotive regulator and other Fraud Prevention Forum partners.

In next week’s bulletin AMVIC offers tips on how to recognize fake businesses that appear legitimate.

Did you miss last week’s topic?

Week one: 2 good 2 be true