Drive away from fraud: realistic fake businesses

DATE: | Consumer bulletins

The business looks legitimate and even has a website and photos of vehicles. But could you still be dealing with an illegal, unlicensed business?


Sometimes curbers a.k.a unlicensed sellers, appear to be operating from a legitimate looking business. Some curbers are so sophisticated in their scamming operations that they have elaborate websites with inventory photos and customer reviews.

In Alberta, all automotive businesses must be licensed by AMVIC. If they are selling vehicles to consumers, they must have an AMVIC retail sales licence and all automotive salespeople must be AMVIC-registered.

You can verify whether a business is properly licensed by searching AMVIC’s online database.

What’s the difference?

Licensed businesses commit to following the consumer protection laws set out in Alberta’s Fair Trading Act and their salespeople must complete and successfully pass AMVIC’s course on Alberta’s automotive consumer protection laws in order to become registered.

More information about the benefits of choosing AMVIC-licensed businesses can be found at

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

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.

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