Warning over vehicle cloning

Police warn motorists in Devon to be on their guard after a number of residents fall victim to cloned vehicle fraud.

PROSPECTIVE car buyers in East Devon are being urged to be extra vigilant following reports of cloned vehicle fraud.

The warning has been issued by the police after three people in Devon fell victim to fraudsters - losing around �45,000.

Throughout March, police were made aware of three separate incidents where people had unwittingly bought stolen cars.

The buyers had purchased the vehicles in good faith only to find out that the vehicles, from outside the Devon area, were stolen and had false plates and identification numbers.

Vehicle investigations officer, PC Mark Humphries, said: “These cars are initially stolen along with their keys from people’s homes or premises.”

“They are then advertised for sale with forged V5(c) log books, and MOT certificates which relate to non-stolen vehicles in other areas of the country.

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“They bear false number plates, VIN (vehicle identification) numbers, tax discs, VIN stickers and forged service books and will come with only one key.

“Even an HPI check will come back as clear as the cloned details relate to another vehicle.”

The fraud is usually discovered once the fake documents are sent to the DVLA.

For those buying a car it is important to know its market value and be wary of anyone selling a vehicle under this amount.

Check the seller’s knowledge of the vehicle and its history and never pay with large amounts of cash.