Manchester car cloning scam: ‘Do your research’ urges online vehicle checking company CEO

The devil is in the details according to the company which helped reveal the Manchester car cloning scam.

Online vehicle checking company, Cazana, is urging potential buyers to pay close attention to the interior of cars to avoid being pulled into purchasing a stolen motor.

This is after it was revealed that criminals have been using eBay to sell stolen and cloned cars in Greater Manchester after having their details switched with legitimate cars.

Speaking to MM, CEO of Cazana, Tom Wood, said: “It’s quite a big problem the car cloning scam for consumers because if you do a normal check often nothing appears to be wrong.

“It will all check out against the database, but with cloned cars I would absolutely say that the devil is in the details.

“A big giveaway can be the interior of the car, the specification, the dashboard. Chances are if the interiors have changed, there is a reason.”

Car cloning is often used as a method to sell stolen cars.

The vehicle is given the identity of another, similar legitimate car, including licence plates, chassis numbers and accompanying documentation.

However, Mr Wood said it was extremely difficult for criminals to find an identical match and that it was unlikely that all the specifications would remain the same.

Cazana offers buyers pictures of when a car was previously sold, most of which are free of charge, and could save you thousands of pounds.

He said: “Whilst the criminals tend to copy the outside trim, they often won’t be able to find a matching car with the same detailing throughout.

“Most of our data is free online and we would really encourage people to go and check because it could save you a lot of money.

“In the case of car cloning pictures tell a thousand words and it doesn’t hurt to do your research.”

Giving his top tips for avoiding becoming stuck with a cloned car, Mr Wood said it was always a good idea to take pictures when you go and see a car which can be used to compare with online pictures.

He said: “It’s almost like a spot the difference puzzle. When you view the car take some photos.

“You often forget small details or might be in a pressured selling environment, maybe rushing going to see a car after work, whatever it may be snap some pictures on your phone and it could save you a fortune.”

Approximately 20 cars were found to have been cloned in the Greater Manchester area in an investigation led by the BBC. 

Image courtesy of LSJ news via Youtube, with thanks.

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