After a nearly two-year investigation, the
FBI announced the breakup of a major organized crime ring that has been
involved in vehicle cloning in Tampa, Miami, Chicago and Mexico.
Car-cloning involves taking a stolen vehicle and
giving it the same identity and VIN number as a legally-owned vehicle
of the same make and model. The cloned car is outfitted with
counterfeit labels, plates, stickers, and titles, then passed off as a
In this case, more then 1,000 cloned vehicles were
transported and sold to buyers in 20 states and in several countries.
Many of the buyers purchased the vehicles for significantly under the
fair market value.
The individuals have been operating within the
United States for nearly 20 years and in Mexico since at least 2004 and
officials are estimating that they created more than $25 million
dollars in losses to consumers and victims.
Remember, if a deal on a car sounds too good to be true, that’s because it probably is.
Read more about this story at the National Insurace Crime Bureau.