Dealer beware: Emerging tactic used by curbsiders

Published On
March 13, 2024

Recently, OMVIC has observed an alarming trend in fraudulent online vehicle listings posted by “curbsiders” – illegal vehicle sellers masquerading as legitimate dealers and salespersons. By stealing photos and names from registered dealership websites, curbsiders create fake online advertisements and profiles to lure unsuspecting buyers.

These individuals hold themselves out to represent genuine professionals, convince car buyers to make a deposit on a vehicle and then disappear without a trace. Subsequently, when buyers visit the dealership to claim their purchased vehicles, the business is entirely unaware of the purported salesperson, dealer, or transaction.

Another deceptive tactic used by curbsiders involves illicitly altering authentic dealer advertisements, which are then reposted with the curbsider posing as the dealer and salesperson. Consequently, buyers unwittingly send deposits to these imposters, falling victim to fraudulent transactions.

OMVIC continues to monitor online marketplaces for fraudulent sales and illegal motor vehicle activity. We continue to work diligently to safeguard the interests of registrants and to uphold the integrity of the motor vehicle sales industry.

To protect their reputation and car buyers alike, dealerships are strongly urged to take proactive measures against curbsiders who exploit dealer and salesperson identities by monitoring and acting on illegal activity in the marketplace.

OMVIC recommends the following steps to mitigate the risk of fraudulent activities:

  • Watermarking photos uploaded online to prevent unauthorized use for illicit purposes.
  • Exercising vigilance regarding individuals who frequent dealerships, particularly those taking extensive photos of vehicles for sale.
  • Regularly monitor online marketplaces to detect and report any fraudulent advertisements or activity.
  • Promptly reporting any instances of fraudulent posts or activities to OMVIC’s dealer support team.  Dealers are reminded to adhere to OMVIC’s advertising guidelines to avoid any issues as it relates to fraudulent sales practices.
  • All dealers and salespersons are encouraged to report curbsiders and illegal motor vehicle sales activity to [email protected].

Please contact our dealer support team should you encounter fraudulent vehicle advertising or if you have any questions on how best to protect yourself from becoming a victim of this fraudulent activity. Our team can be reached at [email protected] or by calling 1-800-943-6002.