Counterfeit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Scam
Counterfeit VIN scam is gaining popularity. Scammers are getting more and more skilled is altering VINs or putting fake VINs on stolen cars so that even experienced car dealers can be cheated. If you buy a car with a counterfeit VIN, even unknowingly, and the car gets caught by the police, you will lose the car and the money paid for it at the best, and can be charged for receiving stolen property, at the worst.
Counterfeit VIN Precautions
Inspect the VIN plate carefully. Search for the signs of peeling, filing off, welding, color problems or chemical action. If you notice any, you'd better reject that car. If the seller is uneasy about the VIN inspection by you in person to or won't let you inspect the VIN plate, suspect the worst.
VIN number check and vehicle history report is another way to see if the VIN is counterfeit and protect yourself from a fatal purchase. The VIN check will show you the make, model and engine number attached to the VIN. Vehicle history report will show more details, for example color, and many other potential problems you don't even think of (if they exist). If VIN number check reveals that the VIN belongs to a 2003 Ford Escape XLS but you found it on an Hammer, or you see any signs of filing or molding on the VIN and the space around the plate, suspect VIN fraud and report it. So, if you are careful enough you can get away from a dangerous deal even with a free VIN check.
If you find out that the VIN on a car was faked or have a good reason to think so, always inform the the police. This way you will protect other other unaware buyers (possibly, your friends or relatives) from purchasing a problem car.