‘Delete immediately’: Drivers warned over car cloning and DVLA email scams – how to avoid

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Scammers are telling potential customers they can receive significant discounts if they pay up front using a gift card or a prepaid debit card. The criminals are preying on holidaymakers looking for a good deal on rental cars, especially abroad, but that isn’t the only car scam going around at the moment.

According to Confused.com, drivers should be wary of both car cloning and scams ‘from the DVLA’.

Car cloning is when criminals steal the identity of a legally registered vehicle.

This is then used to hide the identity of another stolen or salvaged car that’s similar in appearance.

Usually, the cloned vehicle is then either sold illegally or used to carry out further motoring offences, ranging from speeding to more serious crimes like ram-raids.

Offences are then incorrectly attributed to the owner of the cloned car.

Unfortunately, there is no real way of preventing your vehicle from being cloned.

Typically, the owner of the real vehicle finds out that it’s been cloned when they get a letter warning them of a traffic offence that they’ve apparently committed on the other side of the country.

Alex Kindred, car insurance expert at Confused.com, says: “When buying a used car, make sure you ask the seller for the details of the car before you meet, including registration number, make and model of the car, which you should then run through the DVLA’s online vehicle enquiry service.

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“When inspecting the car itself also make sure all the Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) on the vehicle match each other and those in the V5C logbook, as this could identify the car as having false documentation.

“As well, look out for an address on the logbook.

“You should always check a car’s history and VIN against the records on the RAC’s Vehicle History Check.

“While RAC Vehicle History Check won’t tell you outright that the vehicle is a clone, it will give you important details on whether the car has been scrapped or stolen, as well as any discrepancies on behalf of the seller.”

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