Cloned Number Plates - PAJ
Has anyone been the victim of a number plate cloning incident? A friend (honestly) has recently received a court summons for failing to produce the name of the driver of "his" car as it was court speeding in a town in south west England.

However, at the time of the offence, the owner of the vehicle was at work, with many witnesses to verify it, and his car has NEVER been to the town in question!

I've read a few news stories of people being the victims of vehicle cloning criminals (mostly in London - people copying number plates of similar cars to avoid paying the congestion charge).

Has anyone been a victim? What can be done to prove your car wasn't where a speed camera says it was???
Cloned Number Plates - Marcos{P}
My wifes brother recieved a court summons for three seperate unpaid speeding fines in or around london during February this year. They were all speed camera related so they had pictures of his car with his number plates. The only problem was he was in Portugal with his car for three months.
The charges were dropped but I think the problem is more out of control than we are led to believe.
Cloned Number Plates - Hugo {P}
If you can produce a valid arguement to the contrary, you'll be in the clear.


Hugo

"Forever indebted to experience of others"
Cloned Number Plates - Ivor E Tower
In our local paper we have had stories of at least 2 local residents, who only use their cars locally, being sent london congestion scheme fines even though they have not been anywhere near London, let alone the central charging area. Both the people whose stories I saw had received at least 2 fines through the post.
It seems that here is a case of you are guilty until you prove yourself innocent. There are quite clearly a number of people who drive to London who are using false plates. Does anyone in authority want to know or do anything about it? Is there an honest politician?
Cloned Number Plates - teabelly
I know 2 people it has happened to. The most recent one was a work collegue who got a summons for speeding in Norwich when his car had been on the car park here in Stoke for the whole day. The other one happened a number of years ago when a friend got a set of parking tickets through for a motorbike that had been officially written off several years previously and wasn't supposed to be returned to the road.

It wouldn't surprise me if there are thousands of cloned cars out there. If someone geographically closer to you had cloned your car I am sure it would be a lot trickier to prove that it wasn't you driving.

The best thing to do is to make sure you have a distinctive car that is either a rare model, kept exceptionally dirty or has some sticker or other on the rear which will distinguish it from others. Only people that had seen the car would be able to copy it successfully.




teabelly
Cloned Number Plates - Armitage Shanks{P}
About 18 months ago one motorist had so much hassle with speeding and parking tickets that he persuaded DVLA to issue him with a new number plate, free so far as I recall. It is vertainly a big problem and I am not sure that the rules re getting number plates made up are being very strictly adhered to.
Cloned Number Plates - Sooty Tailpipes
It happened to my Mother, she had a court summons for a load of offenses in London.
But the vehicle had never been down there, she telephoned them and they just said OK, don't worry. Never heard anything else.
Makes you wonder if the criminals who dont have false plates just ring up and plead innocence anyway?
Cloned Number Plates - henry k
The best thing to do is to make sure you have
a distinctive car that is either a rare model, kept exceptionally
dirty or has some sticker or other on the rear
which will distinguish it from others. Only people that had seen
the car would be able to copy it successfully.


I saw some coverage on TV recently re a victim of cloning.
I think it was re Congestion Charging. They compared the rear view of his vehicle with the photos and concluded they were different cars because of just such small differences.
He did not pay but it was a big enough problem for him hence it made TV.
This is of course no help unless a photo is involved.
So its either add a badge, sticker, advert or take of a badge or note any damage such as a misalighned bumper. The maker of the number plate may now help.
Start shouting when the first ticket arrives that is not yours.
Cloned Number Plates - Cardew(USA)
I had a speeding ticket for an offence in London when I could prove myself and car were in Glasgow at time of offence.

It occurred to me that this time I could prove my innocence, but as I worked and lived in London, next time I might not be able to do so. So I refused to provide my alibi when I returned the NIP merely saying "not known" for the driver and that I would contest any charge. I had back a letter saying that they would not be taking any further action.

I later had a letter stating that my car had been towed away for a parking offence and impounded; and unless I paid a huge sum it would be sold - this for a fairly new Golf Gti. I contacted the police who checked my VIN to ensure that I had the genuine car.

It transpired that the cloned car was an identical model to mine and had been stolen from a petrol station when the owner left the keys in the car while he went to pay.

I would bet that if you knew you were innocent and pleaded not guilty the police would not proceed in most cases - but of course perjury is a very serious offence.
Cloned Number Plates - Martin Devon
I agree, but for what it is worth a friend of mine had restored a Triumph Bonneville and had an undated plate, (with a personalise value, if you know what I mean,) the D.V.L.A. then re-issued it to someone else. They investigated same and they admitted this was NOT unusual. As of this date I do not have an update.

Regards.
Cloned Number Plates - kithmo
A couple of years ago my partner was the victim of false number plates, the thing was, they were not false plates they were the originals. The toe rags had unscrewed them off her car and fixed them to theirs, then gone off and done a hit and run on another car. The police were at our door before she even came out of the place where she was parked. Fortunately the thieves had a different make and model of car (they didn't even have the intellegence to nick some off of a car of the same type) so the police knew it wasn't her that had done the hit and run.
Cloned Number Plates - Galaxy
A friend of mine was woken by a noise outside at 4.00am. He thought it was a fox or another animal doing what animals do during the hours of darkeness. But it wasn't. Some low-life was taking the number plates off his car! He called the police who arrived in a couple of minutes, and the low-life legged it into a nearby park. Unfortunately they lost him.

My friends sister had previously had the plates stolen from her car overnight, from the same location. He made sure this was reported since the usual reason for doing this is, of course, to get a tank of free petrol for their own car!
Cloned Number Plates - doug_523i
I've noticed a few cars lately, on dealer forecourts, with missing plates and wondered if they were being replaced with new plates from the dealer, or if some low-life had pinched them. It makes me wonder if you are buying trouble, if it's the latter.
Cloned Number Plates - henry k
I've noticed a few cars lately, on dealer forecourts, with missing plates.


I suspect its all part of the learning curve.
The web site of one dealer that I bought from has the plates of all his stock obliterated. It is far easier to surf the web in comfort rather than go out looking for a suitable donor car to clone from.
Cloned Number Plates - henry k
He made sure this
was reported since the usual reason for doing this is, of
course, to get a tank of free petrol for their own
car!

>>
Thanks for the warning. I thought it was just a means of avoiding Congestion Charges.
I guess the first easy fix is to swop the number plate screws for Allen screws if they are the bolt through types or else use Locnuts. If they are just held on with self tap screw? Are there any self tap screws with non standard heads around?
I guess they may tear off the plates and stick them together for a one off visit to the filling station but I suspect they would sooner move onto the next vehicle.

All suggestions and thoughts please.
Cloned Number Plates - SjB {P}
<<< Are there any self tap screws with non standard heads around? >>>


Yes.
I have some in my spares box.

They have a self tapping thread, and a slot for a plain bladed screwdriver, but this slot is chamfered on the left hand side of each radius.

The result is that it's easy to do up, and nearly impossible to undo, especially if the screw is tight in the hole.

Just make sure you get it right first time!

Someone will probably be along in a minute to give me the correct technical name for such screws!
Cloned Number Plates - AR-CoolC
Someone will probably be along in a minute to give me
the correct technical name for such screws!


And here he is, it is called a clutch head screw.

You could also use a tamperproof torx screw, or even (where access will allow) a coach bolt.

I suppose there is a case here for the cherished number brigade to have their say, after all a cherished number is not really worth cloneing.

Cloned Number Plates - SjB {P}
<<< And here he is, it is called a clutch head screw. >>>

Thank you! :-)

BTW - although scumbags are unlikely to carry them in their pockets so of little relevance to this specific thread - I purchased a well made set for undoing the special 'tamperproof' Torx screws for the princely sum of £1.99. Resultant repair bill for SWMBO's iron was five minute's worth of electricity for the soldering iron, rather than a new iron! Have since made countless other repairs on devices held together with such screws, too. A worthy addition to the tool box, with some clever approaches to getting round the tamperproofing.
Cloned Number Plates - TeeCee
I guess that this particular problem is going to become more common. Now that the government has seen fit to classify number plates in the same category as guns, drugs, explosives and military issue knives, I would suspect that yer average scumbag is going to realise fairly quickly that the only quick 'n easy way of getting a set of bent plates is to unscrew them from one of the handy parked vehicles that adorn our roads. This, of course, leaves the honest car-owner to pick his way through the new, draconian methods of replacing same, in the sure and certain knowledge that his collar is shortly to be felt in connection with some offence of which he is innocent.
It would be interesting to find out whether the police think that this change in policy will make their lives easier or more difficult. I suspect the latter.
Cloned Number Plates - TeeCee
The other possibility here is that it wasn't a clone. Many of the newer cameras, including those that do the Congestion Charge, work on number plate recognition. You have to bet that there's a bit of "fuzzy logic" in this (camera angles, visibility due to weather, dirty plates etc.). Given that the new restrictions on plate design (font, spacing, use of spurious screws et. al.) are about as widely enforced as the requirement for Hackney Carriages to carry a bale of hay, I suspect that a large number of these "mistakes" are actually down to inherent bugs in the system. Of course, I would never suggest that the tolerance for automatic recognition may have been "widened" to reduce manual intervention and, therefore, admin costs....
 

Value my car