The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning Canadians selling their cars to be cautious of a scheme sought out to take advantage of them.
There have been several complaints made by private sellers, who have allegedly been contacted by buyers through text or email requesting a vehicle history report from a website other than CarProof or ICBC.
Both CarProof and ICBC provide information about vehicles that include, if the vehicle has been in an accident, where it has been registered, or if there are any liens against it through the use of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN.)
The scheme works with the buyer saying they are not satisfied with a report from ICBC or CarProof so they request that the seller get a vehicle history report from a website of the buyer’s choosing. According to BBB, The buyer has no intention of purchasing the vehicle, and is instead suspected to be collecting money from the sale of the report.
Once the seller purchases the report the buyer indicates that they are no longer interested in getting the vehicle. The seller is now out cost for the report.
Car sellers have no obligation by law to produce this information for buyers, if sellers choose to provide these records, it is done by preference.
BBB is warning the public to be aware when selling their vehicles and avoiding selling to those who seem suspicious.
“The fact that these people are misleading sellers to spend money with no intention of buying the car is definitely a very deceptive business practice,” says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland B.C.
“If a buyer is not satisfied with a CarProof or ICBC report and pressures you to buy one from another site, it becomes suspicious. You might just be better off finding another legit buyer. And if a buyer really is interested, they are free to request the VIN and get the report themselves. In fact, many people post ads with the VIN included.”