Knowledge is one of the best ways to help avoid becoming a victim of curbstoning – the unlicensed commercial sale of vehicles for profit – and odometer fraud. The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles' License & Theft Bureau and Carfax has developed the following prevention tips:
Ask to see the title and compare the mileage on it with the vehicle's odometer. Examine the title closely to see if the mileage notation is clear or difficult to read.
Compare the mileage on the odometer with the mileage indicated on the vehicle's maintenance, inspection and history records.
Check that the numbers on an analog odometer gauge are aligned correctly and not crooked, contain gaps or jiggle when someone bangs on the dash.
Examine the tires. If the odometer on the vehicle shows 20,000 or less, it should have the original tires.
Look at the wear and tear on the vehicle – especially the gas, brake and clutch pedals – to be sure it seems consistent with and appropriate for the number of miles on the odometer.
Request a vehicle history report from the seller to check for discrepancies in the vehicle's history. If the seller does not have one, write down the car's vehicle identification number and order a vehicle history report online.
Signs of a possible curbstoner include:
- The seller has multiple vehicles for sale.
- The seller's name is not on the vehicle title.
- The seller does not want to notarize the bill of sale at a bank. (The License & Theft Bureau recommends notarize bills of sale and related documents.)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website to learn more about odometer fraud.
Individuals who suspect they have been a victim of curbstoning and/or odometer fraud, should visit
an NCDMV License & Theft Bureau office, call (919) 861-3143 or contact their local law enforcement agency.