What is VIN Fraud? It is an act which involves replacement or alteration of a vehicle’s data (specifically its identification number) so that consumers can be misled. This is an act which is stated to be against the laws. The two main are as follows — Are you protected?
- VIN Cloning
- VIN Alteration
To understand or to protect yourself from VIN fraud, you first need to learn about the different types and how they are carried out. Only when you have enough knowledge about it can you take the proper action to be protected from it. To help you go through a proper VIN look up, let’s help you understand the basic two types:
This is the most common type of VIN Fraud that fraudsters attempt because it is pretty much easy to carry out. All you need is a VIN from a similar vehicle that’s legally registered and then place it on a property that is stolen or probably damaged so that its identity is hidden. VIN Cloning means that a person is evading the laws and also gives them the power to sell a stolen car to a buyer who has no idea or suspicions about the deed.
The VIN Alteration has serious consequences if you get caught and it is of higher risk. This can result in adverse conditions like staying in jail for a considerably long period. VIN Alteration includes acts such as removing the VIN of the vehicle on purpose, knowing the consequences it can end up with. Destroying the VIN so nobody is able to read it or changing the numbers of the VIN are also a part of the VIN Alteration Fraud.
HOW TO CHECK IF YOU ARE BUYING A STOLEN CAR?
Knowing and understanding the different terms of VIN Fraud is important to protect yourself from it. However, you need to know about how you can exactly check for it too. What makes you identify that the car is stolen or not. Here are some ways through which you can do a research and make sure that you are not buying a stolen car.
- Where can you get a VIN Fraud Car? First things first; when are you mostly at risk of buying a stolen car? The high risk rate is when you are buying a car online and you can even be at risk when buying from dealership. Also when you buy a car on sale from the owner-don’t forget to check for VIN fraud signs because why would the owner sell his or her car on a discounted price to you? So how can you check whether a car is stolen or not on sale? Usually it is easier to check for stolen cars on sale. It is difficult on proper dealerships etc.
- Inspection of the vehicle: First you need to inspect the vehicle on your own. Also ask the owner whether they are going to allow your mechanic to take a look at it or not. If they get suspicious and make excuses; you definitely know that something is not right. Thus it is better to drop the idea right there and not buy the car. Moreover if they allow your mechanic to check, make sure that you take the car to a really good one. The best mechanics usually get to know about anything weird that might have been done with the car. They are also capable of catching attempts of any bad action. If the mechanic clears your vehicle and your VIN look up is cleared by him then that is a really good sign and you can jump to the next step of your research.
- Use a Crime Bureau Database: But as VIN Fraud is too common now, you need to take the car to the bureau database. There is a proper National Insurance Crime Bureau database which helps you indicate whether the car has been stolen or not. This tool is absolutely free to use and will help you magically in VIN look up.
- History of the Car: Next, you need to check the history of the car too as it is important for VIN look up research. There are various companies that do this for you and a lot of tools are accessible online as well. It is always better to check the history from both the sources but a proper office might make you feel more satisfied. Car Proof is a good place where you can check for the history of the car in all ways and feel satisfied about it too. They have been providing with accurate car histories since a long time.
PRO TIPS FOR HELP
The above-mentioned steps for a proper VIN look up process will help you in protecting yourself from fraud. Buying a stolen car can easily turn your life upside down and make it hell. To make sure that you secure yourself in all ways and don’t purchase a stolen or VIN Fraud car, here are some stress free tips that can be of great help, to keep up your sleeve.
- If the seller whines about missing papers, insurance or registration, don’t buy the car. The seller might reduce the price for you too, making sure that the offer seems great to you. But remember that the basic papers are an essentiality and the owner must have them. If these are missing, don’t that seller again.
- VIN number can be painted or tampered easily. Take a good look at it. If you don’t have time to take it to a proper mechanic, then do it on your own. Throw light on it and check it in all possible ways for any signs of modification. If you think that the VIN has been tampered, you simply do not buy that vehicle.
- This is going to get obvious; the seller is not going to allow you to inspect the car deeply. The seller might make excuses but you are the one who must walk away. If he/she is making lame justifications for not letting you take the car to a mechanic, you walk away from that offer and find a better one.
- Another thing that usually VIN frauds do is that they don’t allow you to drive the car for testing. This is usually what everyone does before buying a car; they test drive it. Avoid the offer of such sellers and walk away without any further discussions because these frauds can easily mess up with your mind.
- Fraud sellers usually don’t meet up their own places. They make excuses and try setting a meet up in public locations. Don’t ever fall prey to this. Always confirm the identification and the address that is mentioned on the advertisement or offer, from where you got to know about the sale. Meet them at their house for best inquiries.
Conducting a VIN look up is a lot of work for sure, but it doesn’t take more than a day or two to complete. Just make sure that you don’t allow yourself to fall prey to buying a stolen car as that can be a truly messy problem to have. VIN Fraud is increasing and it is recommended that you take the proper actions to remain safe. Take our advice to heart.