Vehicles are New Identity Theft Target
Criminals are trolling dealership lots and shopping malls, looking for a 16 digit vehicle identification code. In some models, it's inside the driver's side door but on others, it's right in plain sight on the dashboard.
The crooks write down the number. Then they use the number to forge titles for stolen vehicles of a similar make and model. The stolen vehicles are sometimes sold to legitimate dealers, who turn around and sell the vehicles to you.
If you end up buying a vehicle with a stolen identity, the police may seize the vehicle. Your insurance will cover any losses but you'll end up paying in higher rates and fees.
To keep from buying a vehicle with a stolen identity, run a Carfax report on any vehicle you may buy, especially used cars. If you notice any differences in mileage, condition of the car, even it's color, you may be looking at a cloned car.