Scammers are getting sneakier in their attempts to do the wrong thing.
A new scam in Australia has found crims are copying your number plates, to avoid toll fines, or even for stealing fuel, or bigger crimes using a vehicle. There’s no worries if they are caught by a speed camera either, as you’re the one going to get their fine.
It’s easy enough for them to do. If you drive something similar to them they can just take note of your number plate and make theirs the same. Queensland motoring body RACQ said there were even reports thieves were going to second-hand car yards to find legally registered plates to replicate.
RACQ spokespersonRussell Manning said it was concerning just how easily this can happen. “Back in the day, thieves used to simply steal the number plate. But with the advances in technology they don’t even have to touch the car to get away with it,” he said.
“What’s worrying for owners with plate cloning is you don’t know about it until the fines start rolling in.”
He’s now asking if it was time to reconsider number plates as ID.
“We may be at the time where we have to become more sophisticated and look at technological identifiers like electronic vehicle tags.”
So what do you do if you get a fine that you don’t believe it yours? Don’t ignore it, take it straight to the authorities. Otherwise your number plate details might continue to be used, not only racking up a bigger bill, but it could make it harder to prove it wasn’t you, the longer you leave it.
It’s not just happening in Australia either. It’s happening the world over.
How can you prevent it happening in the first place? For starters it’s a good idea to never post a photo of your car online that show’s the number plate.