Learn about this disturbing crime trend…
We’ve learned from a recent report out of Cape Coral, Florida the problem of vehicle cloning is on the rise in the United States. Also called vehicle rebirthing, we’ve been watching this crime trend as it’s spread from Australia and New Zealand, sounding the alarm that it would become more common in the United States for some time now. Unfortunately, we were right and now everyone needs to remain vigilant, or they can fall in criminals’ traps.
Learn how car thieves are using wildlife cameras to target you here.
A cloned car has been re-vinned, obscuring the fact it’s stolen. While we’re aware this practice has been around for as long as VIN tags have been used on vehicles, these vehicle cloning operations are organized and large, instead of a dishonest person here and there. That means more victims suffer from the crime.
While it’s frustrating enough to have your car stolen, what’s even worse is to buy a vehicle, then learn it’s stolen. You’ll lose the car once police track it down, despite not having committed a crime, and you’re not compensated for it. That might sound harsh, but if your vehicle was stolen and rebirthed, it’s only fair to get it back.
To clone a car, what thieves typically do is take different VIN tags and other parts with the vin stamped in them and install them on a stolen car of the same make and model. The donor vehicle might have been wrecked, that way the vin doesn’t trigger any law enforcement alerts.
There are warning signs a used car you’re looking at has been cloned or rebirthed. You can pay for a vehicle history report, which might expose some inconsistencies. Many state motor vehicle divisions allow you to access an information check to verify who owns the vehicle and to get a government description of it. Also, if the car is newer and there’s no lien holder, that can indicate something suspicious.
One of the more obvious signs is if any of the VIN tags on the car have scrapes of scratches on them. Same goes for the screws holding them in place, or if the screws don’t match each other. Also, look up where all the VINs are located on the car and check that the numbers match on each one.
Source: NBC 2