Odometer Fraud – Rollback, Reset Or Clocking Of The Mileometer
As the price of new vehicles increases, there is more and more interest in used cars and subsequently odometer tampering has become a very lucrative criminal activity. Odometer is an instrument that indicates distance traveled by a vehicle, but criminals are using various instruments to roll back the mileometer to sell the vehicle at a higher price. Targeted vehicles are mostly new looking and leased cars with high mileage, but still like new appearance.
WHAT YOU SEE IS NOT ALWAYS WHAT YOU GET
Odometer rollback schemes represent a high profitable fraud. In addition to an old machine with false mileage you also get a car which will most likely need more maintenance and repair, thus almost guaranteeing you a return to the car repair shop. And the result of course is, more money to be paid by you. Only a low percentage of odometer tampering is executed by amateurs, usually this crime is associated with intelligent organizations or individuals who develop complicated schemes very difficult to detect and investigate. Not only the end consumers are affected by this fraud, but also legitimate re-sellers.
VARIETIES OF ODOMETER FRAUD
False or Altered Titles – A clear title is much more valuable than a wrecked or damaged car title. This scheme occurs when a dealer purchases a high mileage vehicle and subsequently resells it with falsified, reduced odometer reading. This is accomplished merely by tampering the high-mileage figure noted or by obtaining a new automobile title with a false mileage figure before reselling the vehicle. A professional calligrapher or an artist can perform excellent quality title alterations, which are often invisible to the naked eye.
Reassigned Titles – In most countries law allows licensed automobile dealers to transfer vehicle titles without re-registering them. How? An automobile dealer’s reassignment of the title may be attached to the original title. Numerous title reassignments may accompany an original title, as well as the washed title. An dealer may also discard, rather than alter, prior reassignments of title, making it difficult to trace ownership of the vehicle.
Title Laundering – This scheme occurs when a wrecked cars title is replaced by papers bought in another country. A dealer discards the previous title, registers his vehicle in another state with the altered odometer and then in a name of a company, then reassigns the title back to himself, now having his car registered with the new mileage.
Odometer Clockers – A dealer does minor labor to the car, replacing or changing the noticeable dings and dongs. Replaced can be floor mats, gas and brake pedals, also tires. The finish is then waxed and washed. A clocker turns back the odometer with common tools such as picks, wires, screw drivers, electronic and digital tools. Cars odometers can be rolled back in masses, because a good clocker can do this job in a matter of minutes. The vehicle will then be sold over the internet, at the dealers lot or at the auction houses to get a higher value.