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Avoid purchasing cloned cars

According to statistics from the South African Insurance Crime Bureau, every year there are about R8.5 billion worth of vehicles that are stolen or hijacked in South Africa. The statistics also reveal that 36.4% of these vehicles are filtered back into the hands of consumers as cloned vehicles.

Scott-Rodger says that the statistics highlight the growing need for consumers to be aware of what cloned vehicles are and the implications of falling victim to purchasing a cloned vehicle.

The latest South African Crime Statistics released by the South African Police Service showed that car-jackings increased from 9 990 to 11 221 (a12.3% increase) over the reporting period between April 2013 to March 2014.

Scott-Rodger explains that criminals transfer the VIN number and engine numbers from legally owned vehicles to illegally obtained vehicles in an effort to legitimise the stolen vehicle. “This method allows the criminal to steal the identity of a vehicle which is authorized in the system in order to authenticate the stolen vehicle. Criminals also ‘hijack’ the live records and registration details of vehicles that are financed and before the owner knows it, these details have been changed on the system.”

He says that it is vital that consumers always purchase vehicles from reputable dealerships that have a great track record. “This way the consumer will have added protection against falling victim to purchasing a cloned vehicle as the dealerships have been in the business for many years. Unfortunately, private vehicle sales are more prone to this type of illegal activity, leaving consumers with little recourse should the deal go bad.”

“Fraudsters are continually developing new techniques to con consumers, so it is incredibly important that consumers remain extra vigilant when purchasing a new

vehicle. If, at any point, a consumer feels that they are a victim of vehicle cloning they should immediately contact the local authorities,” concludes Scott-Rodger.

He says that it is vital that consumers always purchase vehicles from reputable dealerships that have a great track record. “This way the consumer will have added protection against falling victim to purchasing a cloned vehicle as the dealerships have been in the business for many years. Unfortunately, private vehicle sales are more prone to this type of illegal activity, leaving consumers with little recourse should the deal go bad.”

Warwick Scott-Rodger







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