Scammers in the UK Sold "Cloned" Cars With Forged Papers of Similar Models

A stolen car was "cloned" to look like a legitimate vehicle 1 photo
Photo: Gordon Alexander
Buying a car or selling one can be a treacherous thing to do these days, as every possible scammer in the world is out to make new victims.
A recent move has been discovered in the United Kingdom, where unsuspecting clients purchased seemingly legitimate cars for a reasonable price when compared to the market, only to find out that they were duped.

The scheme is described as “car cloning,” and it involves forging papers and license plates to make people think that they are legitimate vehicles.

The apparent legality of those cars remains unscathed even if their alleged details are confronted with an online background check, as even their visible chassis numbers are modified to look like those on a legitimate model from the same make.

In all of the cases identified until this point, the clients found out that they were scammed after the criminals had left with money in hand. All three vehicles documented by the story were stolen, and their documents, plates, and VINs were forged.

Instead of attempting to use identification data from other countries, as theft rings usually work in the rest of Europe or the world, the British thieves went one step further. They copied the details from other vehicles in the country, which were not for sale at that time.

The three victims of the scam paid cash for the cars, and one of them is a retired police officer. He is outraged that his former colleagues have not stopped the scammers in their tracks by now, and that he cannot get his money back.

According to the BBC’s story, a spokesperson for eBay, the website where the cars were listed for sale, has stated that the police have not contacted the e-commerce giant in this case yet.

Moreover, the accounts linked to the ads were closed to prevent other scams using the same credentials. Evidently, there's no guarantee that the scammers will not try again with a new e-mail and a pre-paid phone card.

The same eBay spokesperson insisted on informing buyers that they should always use the platform’s recommended payment solutions instead of handing cash.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
Sebastian Toma profile photo

Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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