How to tell if you’re buying a stolen car

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To clone something can mean to make a copy of it. A cloned car, however, is really one vehicle disguised to look like another, a trick thieves play to get some cash for a stolen ride — and to take advantage of unsuspecting buyers.

A cloned vehicle is one in which car thieves take a license plate, vehicle identification number, or VIN, and stickers from a legal car and place them on a stolen vehicle of a similar make and model. The National Insurance Crime Bureau has issued a warning that buyers of these cars in many states can have their vehicles confiscated, losing their entire investment. The NICB offered five tips to avoid becoming a victim.

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