Home Business NewsBusinessAutomotive News Drivers warned tolls and charges such as Khan’s ULEZ in London has led to ‘car cloning’

Drivers warned tolls and charges such as Khan’s ULEZ in London has led to ‘car cloning’

by LLB Reporter
28th Feb 24 7:03 am

Drivers are warned they may fall victim to number plate cloning if they don’t take preventative measures to keep their vehicles safe.

Car cloning is on the rise, with criminals trying to dodge speeding and parking fines, tolls and charges such as ULEZ in London.

To prevent being wrongly linked to offences, experts are advising motorists to use anti-theft screws, park in a garage and avoid posting photos of vehicles with number plates in full view.

Drivers are being warned to take steps to prevent their car reg being cloned amid a worrying rise in number plate cloning.

Private plate experts from Absolute Reg have highlighted the growing problem of vehicle identity theft and have provided tips on how to keep cars safe from criminals.

Car cloning involves duplicating someone else’s registration plate, often for dodging speeding and parking fines, tolls and charges such as ULEZ in London.

Some criminals also clone plates to sell stolen vehicles. This can lead to innocent motorists being wrongly linked to offences, as car cloning is hard to detect before receiving unexpected fines or penalty charges.

The rise in car cloning cases could be explained by the increased use of number plate reading ANPR cameras which law enforcement uses to detect crimes.

The fines can reach thousands of pounds and the process of proving innocence can be tricky so it’s important to do anything possible to prevent cloning.

All drivers are susceptible to vehicle cloning, and while it cannot be completely prevented, there are measures drivers can take to minimise the risk.

Experts encourage drivers to consider using anti-theft screws to protect their number plate from being physically stolen.

If possible, parking in a garage can prevent criminals from taking note of registration marks, parking in a well-lit area with CCTV so it’s harder to steal the plate.

It’s also important to be careful when posting online, photos of vehicles with number plates in full view can make it much easier for criminals to clone them.

In the case someone is the victim of a car crime, having a tracking device or dash cam can help to provide evidence.

If a driver notices their plate has been removed or they receive surprise fines, it is important to report it to the police and DVLA immediately.

It’s also important to be careful when buying used cars and carry out checks to confirm the vehicle has not been cloned.

The best way to do that is to check that the car’s V5C logbook has a DVLA watermark and make sure the engine number and Vehicle Identification Number match the ones in the logbook.

Jake Smith, Director of Absolute Reg said: “Number plate cloning is a growing problem that puts drivers at risk of being falsely accused of crimes.

“Because of the increased use of ANPR cameras on the roads, we expect the car cloning cases to rise even more, as criminals want to avoid charges, such as the recent ULEZ charges in London.

“No one is safe from cloning criminals, so it’s important to be vigilant and take preventative measures to prevent falling victim to getting your car cloned or unknowingly buying a cloned vehicle.

“There are steps drivers can take to ensure they aren’t unwittingly helping the cloners to steal their car’s identity.

“It’s particularly important to be careful online. If sharing pictures of your car on social media, always blur or obscure the number plate before posting.

“It’s also worth investing in anti-theft screws for your number plate, as well as paying attention to where you park and avoiding posting photos of your car online.

“If you suspect your vehicle has been cloned it’s important to inform the police and DVLA immediately and consider getting a new registration number.

“The presumption is you’re guilty until you can prove innocence, so in order to make sure you have sufficient evidence it’s also worth getting a vehicle tracking device or dash cam.”

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