VIN Scams Are Becoming More Prevalent

Have you ever heard of a vehicle identification number (VIN) scam? It’s becoming a lot more prevalent in the United States.

Here is how the scam works:

A thief steals a vehicle and then to resell the vehicle without being detected, they take a VIN from another vehicle of the same make and model and create counterfeit VIN plates (see photo) that they install onto the stolen vehicle. The purchaser of the vehicle could potentially have the vehicle taken from them if it is identified as stolen and will not get their money back unless they are able to track down the individual that sold them the car, good luck!

According to law enforcement, these stolen cars become difficult to track because the copied VIN plates look like a real VIN plate and the scammer is even able to register the stolen vehicle.

Take Mark Wallis, for example, in 2009, he visited a car dealership in Florida to trade in his 2004 Chevy Silverado. The dealership told him they could not give Mark the full Kelly Blue Book value of the vehicle because it had been in multiple accidents in California. Mark was baffled because he knew the vehicle had never been in California nor had it been in any accidents. It turns out that that Mark’s VIN number had been cloned, placed onto a stolen 2004 Chevy Silverado and registered in California, where it had changed owners multiple times and been involved in various accidents.

VIN Cloning is costing consumers tens of thousands of dollars and leaving them responsible for a vehicle loan and left without a car.

How do you protect yourself from these scams? Great question!

Before purchasing a vehicle (especially from a private seller), get the VIN and let us conduct an asset search for you!

Then, IntelHawk Private Investigations’ Vehicle by VIN Search allows you to give us a VIN so we can conduct an investigation to identify red flags such as the vehicle being registered in many different states in a short period of time as well as the type of vehicle being reported under that specified VIN. This will potentially save you tens of thousands of dollars, a lot of time and headaches in the long run and puts a licensed private investigator on your side.

Start your Vehicle by VIN Search today!

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