You are 50 times more likely to have confidential information stolen online as offline...


Vehicle Cloning... another form of Identity Theft.
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What is it?  'Cloning' is the vehicle equivalent of identity theft.  Criminals replace the number plates on a vehicle with the registration number of a very similar vehicle.  There are a couple of reasons why they might want to do this...
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1... The vehicle has been stolen and requires a new identity... in which case they have two basic options.
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They buy a relatively cheap vehicle which may have been damaged or written off in an accident and use its details: [the write-off may have been bought first and a similar car stolen to order.]  An Insurance write-off might also be repaired using lots of second hand parts... or lots of parts from one stolen vehicle.
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Or they look for a very similar vehicle and steal the number plates: [approx. 35,000 sets of number plates are reported stolen each year]... or have copies of the plates made up.
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[Following this they have two options... they either use the vehicle themselves... or they try to sell it on to an unsuspecting buyer using false documentation.]
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2... The vehicle has not been stolen but the owner wants to mask its identity because... they may be involved in criminal activity... they want to avoid such things as speeding tickets, parking tickets, congestion charges or paying for fuel.  When they come to sell it they just put the proper plates back on.
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[Or could even be used for much more serious offences... those involved in armed robbery, drug dealing or terrorist activities are not going to use vehicles which they have registered in their own names.]
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Your Problems?  There are two basic scenarios...
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1... Someone clones your vehicle and you start receiving Fines and Penalty Points for things you never did... and from places you've never been to.
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2... You inadvertently buy a stolen vehicle with a cloned identity.
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Your Vehicle is Cloned.
If someone has cloned your vehicle... how would you know?  The most obvious sign would be that someone has stolen your number plates... in which case it is very likely that someone is about to put those plates onto a stolen vehicle.
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Owners of cloned vehicles [i.e. the ones whose number plates have been duplicated by the criminals] often only become aware of the problem when they receive speeding or parking tickets from places they have never been to.
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You can write to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), Swansea, SA99 1ZA or fax them on 01792 783 083... they will record your correspondence concerning the vehicle... for future reference.  DVLA will consider issuing a new registration number if satisfied that there is a genuine case of vehicle cloning... and that there may be an ongoing problem.
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To avoid becoming a victim...
Secure registration plates with clutch-head screws to make them more difficult to steal.
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Look out for new types of anti-theft plates that are coming on to the market.
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If your registration plates are stolen, report this to the police and obtain a crime reference number.
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If you do receive a Fine or demand from somewhere you have never been, challenge it immediately with the appropriate authorities and the police... make them aware of the situation.
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What is being done to stop cloning?  DVLA are working on a range of measures to address the problem.  Since January 2003... all number plate suppliers in England and Wales had to register with the DVLA.  Registered suppliers must keep a record of every sale... and must obtain documentary evidence of the customer's name and address... and entitlement to the registration number requested.
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For the first time... this has introduced some control over the supply of number plates... but further steps will need to be taken.  Documentary evidence is not that difficult to forge... and all suppliers are not necessarily that vigilant.  The whole process of cloning vehicles needs to be made a lot more difficult.  Amongst measures currently being investigated are the electronic tagging of number plates... the development of theft-resistant plates that cannot be used once detached from a vehicle... and number plates that hold electronic information about the vehicle.
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Buying a Clone.
Vehicles which have been cloned are going to need forged documentation... a Tax Disc... MOT... and a registration document.  Check them all carefully for any irregularities.  Be very suspicious if any of them are missing.  If you’re unfortunate enough to ‘buy’ a cloned vehicle... you’ll find that you don’t own it... and that you can say goodbye to the money spent.
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To avoid becoming a victim...
If a vehicle has marked glass, the unique code should correspond with the registration mark, VIN and other details.
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Look for any signs of tampering with the VIN number.
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Use the 24-hour number etched on the glass to check the International Security Register.
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Invest in a vehicle provenance check before buying any used vehicle and include a document check.  This will also tell you about any outstanding finance on the vehicle.
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Always be wary of cars with "Japanese Specifications".  While vehicles stolen in Europe are often exported abroad... many of these have been stolen from Japan and imported into Europe.
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Be highly suspicious if they do not have all the right documentation... although this is very common if you buy through a car auction.
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If you do buy through a reputable auction house like British Car Auctions [BCA] you can pay a small indemnity charge so that if the vehicle does turn out to be stolen you won't lose out.
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Make sure you know who you are buying from... not some guy who wants to come to your place... or meet you in a Pub Car park!
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If you're not happy with something... walk away... there will always be another vehicle.  Don't be tempted if they give you some story about needing a quick cash sale and are prepared to sell well under the market value.
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Insurance write-offs...
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According to recent UK statistics... up to 14% of second-hand cars should not be on the roads because they have been insurance write-offs.  [mainly in the £3-6,000 category... but could also be such things as Porsches and Ferraris.]  These are broken down into four categories...
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  • Category A... vehicles which should have been crushed... circa 264,000
  • Category B... not repairable... to be used for spare parts only... 1.2 million.
  • Category C... repairable, but not financially viable... 2 million.
  • Category D... damaged but repairable... 1.1 million.
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In the more serious cases the chassis may have been damaged and the vehicle's safety badly compromised.  Any vehicle being sold which has been a Category A or B write-off should be avoided as there is a good possibility that you would be buying a stolen vehicle with a false I.D... or a death-trap.  Anything from Category C could be stolen... or repaired using stolen parts.  Category D might be alright... if you know what you are looking at.
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Fortunately... there is a free website that you can use to check out this information... it is called... freevehiclecheck.co.uk and uses information supplies by the Association of British Insurers.  Just type in the details of the vehicle you're interested in and they will tell you if that vehicle has ever been involved in an accident which resulted in an insurance claim.
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For more information... try typing something like "vehicle check" into Google.  You will find a lot of sites... some are free... some charge a fee... but you can find out quite a lot about a vehicle... whether it's been involved in an insurance claim... possibly its genuine mileage... and whether there is any outstanding finance on the vehicle.
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For more Information...
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UK Driving Secrets: [UK]  Downloadable ebook written by a Traffic Officer with years of on-the-job experience... it gives Legal tips on all aspects of driving... getting stopped... appealing against various tickets... and taking the fight to Court.  [The kind of Information that an ordinary Solicitor probably wouldn't tell you about.]
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Beat the Wheel Clampers.  You won't have to argue with the clamping thugs.  And you won't have to fill out lots of complex paperwork.  Just pay the fine as normal, then send off a simple template letter.  Your money will be refunded within a couple of weeks.  [You'll need this info before you get clamped.]
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Drink Driving Facts Kit: [UK]  Not that we in any condone Drink-Driving... but if you have been breathalyser and you need some legal advice... this is a good place to start.  Why pay a Lawyer to give you information when you can download all the essential facts for a fraction of the price? [Also gives some interesting facts and figures about Drink-Driving.]
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ebooks.  For more specialist Information... which cover just about every subject imaginable... visit ClickBank who have over 10,000 different products available.

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Traffic Ticket Secrets: [USA] - Discover the hidden Loopholes within the Traffic Court System... tells you how to go to Court... what to say... what to ask... says it gives you the best defence... but does not guarantee you will get off.
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Beat My Speeding Ticket: [USA] - Specifically dealing with Tickets issued from Radar: Laser and pacing... claims it can get you out of these kinds of Tickets or your money back!
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The DUI Process Manual: [USA] - Legal Advice for those who have been breathalyser and are facing a trip to Court... or have already been convicted and want to clean up their driving record.
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