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How to protect your car from cloning, identity theft

6:36 PM, Sep 27, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- You've heard about identity theft. But what about identity theft of your car? It can actually hurt your wallet just as bad.

This can happen on several levels as well. Some more outward and overt, others, well a little more sneaky. The first, we were reminded of yesterday.

You've probably seen First Coast News vehicles around town marked with wraps, stickers, etc.
    
Security on a military base is always strict, but we were at Coast Guard Station Mayport yesterday, and security gave our photographer some extra scrutiny, saying there's a growing trend of criminals putting fake stickers or wraps on vehicles to dodge the police.
    
We did some research and found reports of some going as far as putting FedEx, UPS or even border patrol stickers on their car thinking that will give them a free pass.
    
There's also another method of car identity theft called car cloning. A theif steals a car and then will replace the VIN number on that car with a forged or copied number.
    
And that could cause some big problems for any law abiding car owner.

Ron Worth, former FBI agent, said the public should be aware of their surroundings.

"I think you have to be generally extra vigilant," he said. "If a citizen sees something and it doesn't look quite right, they maybe need to call police and say 'Hey you know what I have this vehicle that is parked out in my neighborhood and it doesn't look quite right and we need to have somebody check it out.'"

First Coast News

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