How to Detect and Avoid VIN Frauds

Every year hundreds of people report VIN-related scams alone in the U.S. VIN is the abbreviation for “vehicle identification number”. VIN acts as vehicle’s fingerprint and history. Many people after purchasing a used vehicle complain about this scam.

If you want to avoid this scam, you should properly investigate the vehicle. If authorities found you driving a VIN fraud vehicle, the consequences can be worse. They will charge you with a felony, even if you are completely innocent. However, there are ways you can protect yourself from VIN frauds. Let’s learn more about it.

What is VIN Fraud?

Fraudulent people often replace VIN to mislead law enforcement and consumers, especially, when they sell a stolen vehicle. Many used car vendors replace VIN to make a profitable sale. Purchasing vehicles from these people can lead you to jail.

Statistics suggest that millions of people become victims of VIN fraud. They have to prove themselves guilty or face the consequences. Whether you defend the claims or face the charges, you will end up spending significant money and time. So, it is important to understand VIN frauds before getting into trouble.

How to Detect and Avoid VIN Fraud?

Before understanding methods to identify and avoid VIN frauds, you should know the types of these scams. Types of VIN Frauds are:

• VIN cloning
• VIN tampering
• VIN removal

Let’s understand these types in detail and learn how to avoid each scam:
VIN Cloning

In this VIN fraud, the fraudster will steal or create a duplicate from another car and attach it to a vehicle with bad history. You can avoid this scam by checking the vehicle’s history and information. The vehicle’s insight will give you a clear overview of the car’s model, year, and color. If the VIN is legitimate, it will match with the vehicle. Otherwise, you should make a deal. Also, check the registration documentation and ensure when the car was last registered.

VIN Tampering

Sometimes, fraudster modifies VIN so the verification process isn’t possible. In this condition, you have to look for a scratch, mark, or signs of alteration. If you identify an altered VIN, it may have been VIN tampered with. If you can’t verify the VIN, the car may be illegal, stolen, or have a bad history.

VIN Removal

When the VIN is absent from the vehicle, you should buy it. If you can’t find the VIN at the driver’s door jamb, the VIN may be located at the driver’s side dashboard. If you can’t find VIN in both locations it is clear that the car is not registered.


You should investigate the vehicle before purchasing to avoid getting into any problematic situation. If you purchase a vehicle with outstanding loan payments, you have to pay them all. Also, you might find yourself in accusations such as organized crime or parking fines.

If you want to purchase a car confidently, you can verify the VIN at Auto Sage Reports. At Auto Sage, we offer a detailed report about the VIN, so you can make an informed decision.

Know Before You Buy

Feel confident in knowing a vehicle’s comprehensive history, including specific details on any past accidents.

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