Dealer Fraud: Car Cloning
With all the latest progress in computers, the internet and, etc… it was predictable that there would be a related progress in auto fraud too. The latest method of which is car cloning. This is the point where thieves take the identification pieces (VIN plates, factory stickers and title work) on a stolen vehicle and replace them with pieces from a legitimate vehicle. Afterwords the car is sold to unsuspecting buyers through online auctions and local newspapers.
The trouble with these cloned cars is that when the car appears as stolen, the car will be confiscated and the buyer will be out of their purchase price plus the amount of the outstanding loan. It is impossible to catch the fraud criminals. They usually will have a title in other person’s name and will basically sell it on behalf of a friend or a relative. This is curb-stoning which is prohibited in most states, but for the most part goes unpunished because there is no way to trace the fraudsters.
In fact cloned cars are a huge problem. It is hard to catch car cloners. It results in quick financial gain for the thieves According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), “New VIN’s, manufacturing certificates and tags can all be made. They take a good number, dummy up a VIN plate and then sell it for top dollar”. Cloned cars give thieves an easy way to quick cash. It is profitable to clone a car than to sell the stolen parts, besides, it is also nearly impossible to be caught since no one knows what is going on versus an illegal chop shop which has a very limited existence before too many people know about it and its whereabouts are eventually leaked to the authorities. The stolen parts of the cloned car are much more easily traced than the car itself.