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Another VIN scammer, just a reminder -

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rustynewyorker, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. I keep some listings going on eBay and got one asking me for the VIN number on one of them; he gave me some crap about wanting to know if it was an early production example or not. That I know of, every example of this particular year and make is the same, and even if not, this one's been cut down and messed with so much it would make no difference either way.

    So I just wanted to post a reminder; unless your car is titled with tags, never reveal the entire serial or VIN to anyone, unless they've just handed you cash to pay for the vehicle.

    What these guys are looking for is a clear number they can steal for a car with title/registration issues; maybe they're trying to beat a salvage title, maybe they have a stolen car, who knows. They'll look for an ad for the same car in poor shape that looks like it may not see the road for some time, and ask you for the number - so when the day comes you do go to register it, you may have a problem since depending on how your state checks it it could show as already in use.

    I presume they don't just make one up because there's a chance the one you make up could turn out to be already in use. This way gives them a correct number that is not in any system anywhere, so it won't raise any red flags.

    We had one once go so far as to claim one of the cars we had posted was his stolen car from 1985, even though subsequent questions revealed it wasn't even the right year for what he claimed his car was. And of course, if we would just share the VIN with him he could confirm whether or not it had been his...

    I think next time I'm just going to make up a number out of thin air and let them take their chances with it.
  2. raidmagic
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,438


    Wow that's interesting. I never considered that before. Thanks for the heads up.
  3. Yet I see so many auctions with pix of the VIN plates. May as well post your SS number while you're at it.

  4. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,660

    Larry T

    I don't guess I'd give out a VIN for no reason, but every motorcycle and all newer cars have VINs visiable to anyone who wants to look.

    Kinda like all paper checks have tracking numbers on them.

  5. B Ramsey
    Joined: Mar 29, 2009
    Posts: 644

    B Ramsey

    I had a toyota, guy wanted to buy it but because the VIN didn't start with the right number, he couldn't take it to his country. (Mexico)
  6. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,949

    from California

    I ended up with a Model A roadster title with a California non-op. I sold it to a guy I met at a swap meet who had a sign on his back looking for a Model A title. the number stamped on his frame was already in use on another car, and he had the whole unmolested car, so somene bought an old title with his number or just made one up and registered thier car with it.

    DMV didn't care about going after the other guy.
  7. I actually had one guy ask me to fax a copy of the title to him to see. Really? I don't think so. If I say I have one, then I have it - and you can look at it all you like after the $$ is secure in my hands first.
  8. mattcrp1
    Joined: Aug 20, 2007
    Posts: 401


    I had my VIN verification license for a while here in CA, I would always get people from other states or areas of CA that wanted a VIN verified with out me putting my eyes on it. I never did any of them but I always wondered if it could be a scam. With that license I had to be bonded and have my finger prints done with an agency. It might have been legal to do it that way but I never felt comfortable.
  9. I usually try to get one of the fellas from the other side of the pond to snag me a vin off of a car at a show. :eek:

    There are a lot of things that can be done with a clean vin.
  10. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,694


    I cover up the VIN on my late model with black cardboard which I can remove if required to do so by a 'Peace Officer'. The reason for this is that anyone can read your VIN, go to the dealer and order a new key based on your VIN - then they can just come and steal it without breaking anything to get in or hot wiring it. And if anyone is looking they'll just see a guy - presumably the owner - unlocking their car with a key. So cover up your VIN....
  11. If your state titles our cars and you have a current one in your name, that's going to trump anything anyone else comes up with in most cases. What these guys want is a clean number not being used already. As noted, it's bad enough people are out there using old registrations to put cars on the road, in this case, the tags are going to be phony too.
  12. Good idea. Here at least in the metro the dealers ask for ID when forging a key, then they look it up with the state. But I don't know that it is that way everywhere.
  13. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,688

    from vail az

    Good info here.
    I've allways wondered about the vin in ads on the bay. WTH??
    I dont have anything desireable but my vins will be covered tonight.
  14. Late model stuff is a little different; here again 99 times out of 100 you have a title for it in your hand - the number is in use and in the system. It's a lot less of a big deal, other than those who want to make keys up as mentioned.
  15. I won't buy a car or "major component" - engine, body, frame without checking the VIN/ serial number/motor number first.

    My current build (27 T body on 28 Frame 30 motor) will have to be titled by the motor number, but the DMV also wants the serial number of the frame as well since it's an assembled vehicle...I had to pass up 3 or 4 good motor cores because the motor number was in use. Unfortunately, not everyone updates the title record when swapping a motor or frame, so checking VINs is important - at least in Texas.

    To run the VINs, I use an online subscription service that can be accessed through my smart phone. I told the seller(s) I'll buy if the number is clear...then run the number on my phone while standing in front of them so they can see what I'm doing with it. Never had anyone raise an objection.
  16. Dad
    Joined: Dec 9, 2005
    Posts: 70

    from Lena Ill

    In Ill we have to get the cars inspected and have all receipts to major parts and the state will place a new tag on your vehicle and issue a clean title. Alot of hassle but makes you totally legal and not have to worry about someone else with your number.
  17. Roger Walling
    Joined: Sep 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,144

    Roger Walling


    "I actually had one guy ask me to fax a copy of the title to him to see"

    Don't do it!

    When I recieved my title for my car, I scaned it for a copy for my files.
    I was amaised how perfect it was. I instantly wrote COPY over it so that I would not mix them up.

    I could see that someone could easily pass it off as an original if you dident look for the water mark.
  18. propwash
    Joined: Jul 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,858

    from Las Vegas

    next time you see a police car parked, and the occupants are at lunch - copy down the VIN....give THAT one to the scammers.
  19. Can you ask him which digits define the production number and give him that? Will he accept that "it is under 4000"? If he won't accept that I would worry. I have an early production 32 ford that matches that description.

    Charlie Stephens
  20. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 19,268

    from Michigan

    That would be fun....:D
  21. hotrodarchaeologist
    Joined: Dec 4, 2007
    Posts: 494

    from Maine

    We could probably all use the name and contact info of the VIN service that you use...
  22. Sent you a PM...if anyone else is interested, please PM me...don't want to violate any rules by promoting a non-Alliance vendor.

  23. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,665

    from Quincy, IL

    While all the horror stories warned against above are probably POSSIBLE.....they are hardly routine. There are very legitimate reasons for a prospective buyer wanting the VIN to the vehicle he is considering. The "tough guy" attitude that "nobody sees the VIN 'til the money changes hands" is an unrealistic, and somewhat bombastic, statement to make.

    I have needed a duplictae key on a few occasions when away from home and , in all cases, had to verify my identity while the dealer parts person looked up the factory records to validate ownership. That may not work with subsequent owners if the factory hasn't been advised of change of ownership, but that is certainly recommended for recall purposes, if for nothing else.

    As a potential BUYER, my first question when you, the potential seller, refuse the information will be "what are you hiding?"

    Most things in life work best on a two way street.............


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