Police

Number plate and car cloning is no joke

What is car and number plates cloning

Car and number plate cloning is on the up

Make no mistake, this is no minor problem. And what's worse is that any of us could fall victim to this crime, without even knowing it.

The Telegraph claims up to 8% of cars have cloned number plates. I'd say that was a bit of an exaggeration to grab the reader's attention. Especially if you look at their definition of cloning, which I would argue is not actually correct. Nevertheless, it's still a very real problem, that can (at the very least) cause the rest of us a bit of a headache. At worst, we could end up considerably out of pocket or even with the police knocking at our door.

So what exactly is car cloning?

The phrase "car cloning" basically means passing off a car with the identity of another (using the car registration number). Usually, this is done using the same make / model / colour of the original vehicle. It's done by either having number plates made up or by stealing number plates from someone else's car.

Think it's a minor crime? Think again.

Who clones cars and number plates?

Cars are cloned by criminals to commit a variety of offences.

Crimes can include selling stolen cars by making them look like legitimate cars. If you're  buying a vehicle privately, make sure you do some checking before parting with cash.

What should I do if my car is cloned?

What is car cloning?

Vehicle cloning is when someone puts your car registration number on theirs, and passes their car as if it's yours. Usually, they will go so far as to pick a car that's the same model and colour as yours.

They are basically stealing the identity of your car to hide the real identity for one which may be stolen. That will then make it look completely legal.

Personalised number plate eBay fraudster jailed

James Fyfe jailed for car and number plate fraud

Fraudster James Fyfe jailed for selling number plates he did not own

James Fyfe led a lifestyle of luxury based on lies and false claims.

He duped unsuspecting buyers into parting with £1000's for prestige personalised number plates and supercars that he did not own. And he used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle, renting supercars and wearing designer clothes.

He presented himself as a car salesman, and advertised Porsches and Ferraris under company name Prestige Lifestyle Supercars. How? Using social media channels and other websites. In reality, he didn't own these. But conned buyers into transferring deposits direct to his bank accounts. In total, he was found guilty for frauds adding up to £231,000.

Car thieves avoid personalised number plates

Personalised number plates get a car noticed

When a thief steals your car, he doesn’t want to be noticed. A personalised number plate makes the car stand out, and they’re usually more memorable than a standard number plate.

So if someone sees the car they’re more likely to remember it. Which is not what the thief wants.

Here are some tips to deter the potential car thief:

Bank robber caught by personalised number plate

Yep...a personalised number plate gave a robber away. James Snell from Cardiff got together with his brother Wayne and a couple of other robbers, and used his own BMW car with his own personalised number plate to carry out a bank robbery. Witnesses saw the robbers lift a drain cover and smash the windows of the bank. And make off with over £100k of loot. But what the robbers didn't count on was the very distinctive personalised number plate (J4 MES) that stood out like a sore thumb.

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