Cloned phones and cloned credit cards have been around for years, but there is another scam that dealership employees, in particular, need to be aware of—cloned Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs).
There have been reports around the country about stolen vehicles that are then re-sold (or traded in at a dealership) with a cloned VIN. It seems criminals are obtaining a VIN from a similar vehicle in another state, and placing a new VIN tag on the stolen vehicle with the cloned VIN.This scam creates problems both for the owner of the vehicle whose VIN was cloned, but also for the purchaser (or dealership) that accepts the stolen vehicle. There have been reports of consumers encountering problems when trying to sell or trade their vehicle because Carfax and other vehicle history reporting services have conflicting reports with two similar vehicles with identical VINs.
NJ CAR reminds dealers that they must run a vehicle history report on trade-in vehicles PRIOR to accepting the vehicle, in order to uncover any potential problems BEFORE you are too far into the purchasing process.