When Your Car's Identity is Stolen, Yours is Too!
Not only do you as an individual need to guard
against identity theft, but also your automobile
as well as the two are interlinked.
It costs the insurance industry $4 billion
annually and you can rest assured that burden
is passed on to consumers in the form of higher
cost insurance premiums.
It seems, wily thieves have found a way to
switch the identity of a stolen car over to
a legitimate automobile. So, for unsuspecting
used auto buyers, be aware.
A car identity thief changes the vehicle identification
number (VIN) to obscure the fact the automobile is
stolen by copying from any legitimately
purchased car. Then they re-register the
stolen vehicle, but with the legitimate VIN
number on it.
The car identity thieves do this so that they may collect
insurance money associated with reporting a stolen vehicle.
The problem, though, if you purchase a used vehicle that
has a VIN number reported as stolen, you inherit all
of risk of repossession. Or, even if you do not buy
a used car that's really stolen, but your vehicle's
VIN number has been flagged by the
insurance industry as a duplicate due
to an identity thief's scam against someone else.
Either way you inherit a big problem with lot's of
financial risk because your personal name
& identity are tied to the car.
So, our tip for today is to periodically check your
car's identity against any reported thefts. Have
the title checked for your car. Make sure to also
request the history of your car's VIN across states
to insure it hasn't been registered somewhere else.