We hear horrific stories surrounding identity fraud far too often. Usually, these stories comprise of stolen IDs, such as a social security number or Visa card. But, what if we told you thieves these days can also steal your licence plate numbers? Recently, an Ontario woman brought her experience to light to warn others about a possible licence plate cloning scam. Luckily, we’ve got everything you need to know regarding what to do if you’re in this unpleasant situation.

What is the licence plate cloning scam?

It began a few months ago when a woman by the name of Obioma Dike was in shock to find multiple Highway 407 bills in her mailbox. They had dates from the Easter weekend, dates when she wasn’t even in the city. The bills state that she took HIghway 407 three times during the month of April for a total cost of over $60 dollars. When she requested camera evidence, she received images of her licence plate on a Nissan SUV. It was similar to her own vehicle, however, the one in the video and photo footage was not hers.

When a closer look was taken at the vehicle in comparison to hers, there were multiple differences in the details. The SUV shown in the camera footage had a dealership licence plate. It was a slightly different model, having some smaller design differences. “This appears to be a case of fraud where the person’s licence plate number was duplicated,” says Christina Basil, a spokesperson for Highway 407, told CTV News.  

How did this happen?

Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt states that he believes the fraudster appears to have intentionally chosen a vehicle that matches the one with the original plate number. “The suspect vehicle was in fact trying to impersonate the victim’s vehicle,” Schmidt told CTV News. “That would certainly cause me pause.” Schmidt states that he doesn’t know what the true intentions of the driver were in this case, but if they were committing a crime, a cloned licence plate can be used as a getaway vehicle. Though Dike recently got a new licence plate and is seeking a 407 bill refund, she is still left with questions.

“If somebody were to be using my plate number, what else could they be doing with my identity?” she told CTV News.

What should I do if my licence plate is stolen?

When a situation like this arises, it is important to keep calm and act quickly. Basil states that the first thing drivers should do is report their licence plate as lost or stolen. From there, return the said stolen plates to the Ministry of Transportation as soon as possible. It is generally a recommendation to launch formal inquiries when situations like these happen. This way, you can prevent a scenario like this from happening in the future.

To be certain if this is a larger issue than one occurence is unknown. Remember, a licence plate cloning scam should always be taken seriously. Another aspect that should always be taken seriously is your insurance. isure aims to provide you with the best rates in the province, as well as customer service you can always count on. Request a quote or contact us to submit a claim today!

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