Number plate fines can be issued to innocent road users even if they haven’t committed a crime due to the risk of car cloning. This is when criminals purchase your identical number plates from an illegal dealer and then commit crimes under your alias.
Recognised number plate dealers will ask for proof of identity and a letter of entitlement when purchasing a new number plate which offers a level of protection against fraud.
However, some sites allow road users to simply write down a number plate and order an identical match in seconds.
This means criminals could be able to escape with a stolen car as they will be hiding under someone else’s agreement.
Jack Cousens, spokesperson at the AA said: “Car cloning is on the rise and the DVLA is not doing enough to tackle online retailers.
Stolen vehicles could be sold at a later date and prospective buyers are urged to give their vehicles a thorough inspection before purchasing.
Checking your car’s history is crucial in identifying whether a full service history is correct and legal.
Barry Shorto, spokesperson for HPI said: “Cloning primarily takes place to disguise the identity of a stolen car which is sold on to an unsuspecting victim usually for fast cash.
“However what we are increasingly seeing is petty criminals cloning cars to avoid congestion charges and offences such as speeding tickets and parking fines whilst organised gangs continue to use them to commit more serious crimes.”
He added: “For unwitting buyers of a car with a fake identity, the consequences can be financially devastating.”
Road users can make sure they do not break the law by purchasing a plate from an official DVLA dealer. However they could still become a victim.
Scammers often write down number plates of similar vehicles they have stolen meaning yours could be picked up as a potential match.
Road users could face the consequences if the stolen car has committed crimes using an identical number plate.
This is because police use number plates to detect offenders using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology.
The fines and penalties will be sent to where the number plate is licensed which could leave innocent motorists forced to pay speeding fines and parking charges they did not commit.
It means innocent motorists may need to explain why their number plate was detected at the scene of a crime.
If they believe a car has been cloned motorists urged to phone the police and the DVLA as soon as possible.
Evidence should be gathered to help your case while an investigation is made into who could have carried out the offences.
Published at Mon, 16 Mar 2020 13:36:00 +0000