A Vancouver woman is warning others after a vehicle she purchased was transferred to someone else, without her knowledge or consent.
“It’s my truck, I paid for it, but it’s not my truck, it’s not in my name anymore,” Sandra Cherry said.
Cherry bought a 2000 Ford F-150 from a seller on Craigslist in December.
She paid $1,000 cash, met the seller at a broker, signed the transfer tax form and was given one key. But on Jan. 12, Cherry was surprised by something she saw on her home’s surveillance camera.
“I thought I was dreaming. The back tires of my truck were no longer touching the ground. It was hooked up to a tow truck, and the truck was in the process of towing it away” Cherry said.
Cherry confronted the tow truck driver, who also had a key to her vehicle.
“I said, ‘What are you doing? This is my truck. Who called you? Where did this order come from?’”
The driver asked for Cherry’s registration papers, but they were gone from her glove compartment. Her licence plates had also been removed. Cherry called the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) and ICBC and discovered the vehicle had been transferred back to the original owner two days prior.
“There’s no way the signature on that transfer paper is mine, it’s my truck,” Cherry said.
Vancouver police seized the vehicle at her request and are currently investigating.
“Some of the evidence we are looking at would obviously be some documents,” VPD Sgt. Jason Robillard said.
“We are looking at getting statements from people involved, and we are trying to analyze some of those pieces as well. We are working with ICBC on this, and we are trying to determine exactly what happened. She had complained to us, and we have an open and active investigation for fraud.”
According to ICBC, to transfer a B.C.-registered vehicle, the buyer must present the previous seller’s signed registration certification and the transfer form signed by both the buyer and seller to a broker. But there is no legal obligation for the seller to be present.
In a written statement, ICBC said:
“It’s rare for a buyer to have access to the registration certificate without the seller’s consent. Therefore, in the majority of cases the requirement to provide a seller’s signed registration certificate and a fully-signed transfer tax form helps to combat fraudulent transfers. If the broker believes there’s a discrepancy or that the form may have been fraudulently completed, the broker would contact ICBC.
“It is a crime to present falsified documents. In this type of incident, the seller should immediately contact police to investigate. ICBC’s Special Investigation Unit and vehicle registration department are also available to assist during the investigation when appropriate.”
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