Internet vehicle listings are rife with curbstoning professionals

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2022 | Auto Dealer Fraud

In some ways, the internet has made buying a vehicle easier than ever before. You can look at what inventory different lots have and narrow down your search to specific vehicles before you even arrive at the dealership. You can order vehicle history reports and compare prices with just a few taps or clicks.

Unfortunately, the internet has also made it easier for unethical salespeople to take advantage of vehicle-buying members of the public. Curbstoning, in particular, has become a more serious concern for those buying used vehicles in Connecticut thanks to the common use of online resources when car shopping.

Understanding curbstoning

Those who work at vehicle dealerships are subject to multiple federal and state laws. They have to comply with regulations or risk the loss of their license and, thereby, source of income. Some people would prefer to avoid the association between their employer and a buyer, especially when trying to sell a low-quality vehicle.

When a professional vehicle salesperson poses as a vehicle owner, their behavior constitutes curbstoning. People may pay more than they should because they trust individuals more than businesses. They may take a seller at their word when they would question a salesperson.

Curbstoning lets a dealership offload poor-quality vehicles with less risk of facing legal reprisal. They list the vehicle for sale and meet up with an unsuspecting member of the public who may not realize that the vehicle is not someone’s personal vehicle but a previous rental vehicle or a vehicle with a salvage title.

How do you fight against curbstoning?

If you discover that the person who sold you the vehicle was not the previous owner but rather a professional, you could hold them accountable for that misconduct. You could report them to state licensing authorities.

If they misrepresented the condition of the vehicle or otherwise took advantage of you, you may be able to use Connecticut’s consumer protection laws to your advantage. A civil lawsuit could hold them responsible for vehicle repair costs or other expenses that you incurred because you did not know the true condition of the vehicle or that the person selling it was a professional and not the owner.

Curbstoning is an unethical form of dealership fraud that could cause you financial harm if you don’t fight back when victimized by an unethical vehicle salesperson. Fighting back against dealership fraud can compensate you and possibly force a salesperson to change their questionable practices.