TORONTO, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Canada's national insurance watchdog warned Canadians Thursday to be wary of buying U.S. vehicles that were flooded or damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada issued a release saying it was inevitable some vehicles salvaged from flood waters in New York and New Jersey when the storm hit a month ago would be showing up for private sale in Canada.
"In each disaster there are attempts by fraudsters to clean up and resell flood-damaged vehicles," said Rick Dubin, IBC vice president of investigative services. "Canadians should be cautious when a deal seems too good to be true."
The agency encouraged potential buyers to demand vehicle identification numbers and verify the history through the U.S. National Insurance Crime Bureau at www.nicb.org.
Monday, the NICB issued a statement saying preliminary figures showed a vast number of vehicles were damaged along the Eastern Seaboard.
"The current estimate of vehicles damaged as a result of Sandy hit the 230,000 mark as claims processed by insurance companies have been reviewed and analyzed," the bureau said, adding its own caution to potential buyers.
"The important message to used vehicle consumers is to be aware that severely damaged vehicles may appear advertised for sale without any indication that they were at all affected by Sandy," the release said.