It has, unfortunately, been reported that the cases of car cloning in London and the other UK regions have risen by 50% since last year. This is worrisome, and we need the authorities to step up efforts to reduce the activities of criminals who clone cars.
Car cloning involves the replication of cars identification documents such as registration papers, licence, and number plates. Criminals present these fake documents as the ‘valid papers’ for another car that has probably been stolen. Cloning your car documents makes it easier to convince unsuspecting people to buy stolen cars.
Criminals can clone your car if they have acquired a similar model. In this case, the aim may be to commit crimes that will be traced to you or transfer of bills from parking tickets, speeding charges or other road offences.
The awareness of car cloning became more prominent in 2017 when a ‘whopping’ 1,652 penalty charge notices were cancelled. It was discovered that the people who received the penalty charge notices were victims of car cloning.
Who is at risk?
Anyone can be a victim of car cloning. If you do not conduct proper checks before buying a new car, you may become a victim, and potentially be buying a car that is actually stolen even though the papers appear to confirm it is stolen.
It is a serious issue, and the victims can be made to face the law or pay very high charges for offenses they know nothing about.
Protecting yourself from car cloning criminals
There are some useful strategies you can use to stay protected from car cloning criminals.
Installing a GPS tracker
You can have a GPS tracker installed in your car. If you receive a parking ticket or speeding fine, it will be easy to prove that your car was not in the area the offense was committed. With the evidence from your GPS reports, the authorities will cancel the wrong penalty charge notice.
Proper checks before buying a car
To avoid buying a stolen car with a cloned documentation you should run proper checks. For example, you can check the vehicle’s registration number, vehicle identification number, car model and registration certificate (which should have the DVLA watermark). You can also ask the dealer to who you an HI check, which will ensure that the registration number and vin number match the DVLA’s records.
If you have wrongly received a penalty charge notice, visit the DVLA with proof that your car is not involved and you do not know anything about the penalty charge. An investigation will be done to confirm your evidence is accurate.