The Emerging Stolen Vehicle Scam Sweeping the Nation

When is a stolen car not a stolen car? Well, nev­er real­ly, but when it’s a ‘clone’, unsus­pect­ing buy­ers lose thou­sands. In a new­er scam called VIN cloning, thieves and orga­nized crime rings trick peo­ple into buy­ing stolen cars using the iden­ti­ty of anoth­er car that looks exact­ly the same. A spe­cial ‘Hot Wheels’ seg­ment by WSVN in Mia­mi explains that crim­i­nals steal a car, then find the same make and mod­el in a park­ing lot. Accord­ing to Chris Bas­so with CARFAX®, it’s as “easy as going to a park­ing garage or a park­ing lot some­where and writ­ing down the vehi­cle iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber. Manip­u­late paper­work, cre­ate a new VIN plate and slap that on a stolen vehi­cle.”

From the WSVN sto­ry: Felix Legre­ca want­ed a black Chrysler 300. He final­ly found one online for $10,000. It was a smooth ride, until the police showed up. Troop­ers told Felix he was the vic­tim of car cloning. A fake vehi­cle iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber, or VIN, was put on a stolen car and sold to him. Felix not only lost his car, but he was also out the $10,000 he paid for it because the sell­er dis­ap­peared. And he’s not the only vic­tim.

Along with con­sumers like Felix, deal­ers also have fall­en vic­tim to this scam. The good news for every­one is that CARFAX infor­ma­tion may con­tain impor­tant clues that can help you spot and avoid pos­si­ble clones. Here are sev­er­al things to look for in the vehi­cle his­to­ry:

  • Mul­ti­ple reg­is­tra­tions in dif­fer­ent states over short peri­ods of time
  • Incon­sis­tent mileage read­ings
  • Acci­dents and/or ser­vice records in var­i­ous states
  • A his­to­ry that doesn’t start until sev­er­al years after the vehi­cle was man­u­fac­tured.

As a CARFAX Advan­tage® Deal­er, you can run as many CARFAX Reports as you need to help avoid VIN cloning wher­ev­er and when­ev­er you pur­chase vehi­cles. Plus, CARFAX Used Car List­ings lets peo­ple on shop your inven­to­ry with the added peace of mind they won’t be anoth­er vic­tim of this scam. Pro­tect your busi­ness and your cus­tomers – become a CARFAX Advan­tage Deal­er and get your inven­to­ry up on CARFAX Used Car List­ings today by call­ing 888–788-7715.



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