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What Can Someone Do With Your Vin Number

What Can Someone Do With Your Vin Number

When you go to sell your car, potential buyers are bound to request the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to run history reports and verify the details you have listed about the car.

You can’t really blame them because you would do the same thing!

However, you might hesitate to share this information because somewhere, you heard that people were being scammed after giving out their vin numbers.

To help dispel some of the misinformation around what someone can actually do if they get your vin number, I created the article below…

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Why Buyers Request Your VIN

As I said above, there are more legitimate reasons someone will need your vin than there are nefarious reasons. Below is a list of the most common reasons someone will ask for your vin:

Running Vehicle History ReportsBuyers want to check for accidents, title issues, and other important details.
Verifying Make, Model, and TrimThe VIN confirms the exact specifications of the vehicle.
Checking for Outstanding Loans or LiensBuyers want to ensure they won’t inherit financial obligations.
Calculating Taxes, Fees, and Registration CostsSome states allow buyers to estimate these costs using the VIN on DMV websites.
Why Buyers Request Your VIN

Potential Risks of Sharing Your VIN

As safe as vin numbers are, there are still some potential risks and below I have provided a few.

VIN CloningCriminals may copy your VIN to disguise stolen vehicles, potentially implicating you in legal issues.
Identity TheftWhile the VIN itself doesn’t contain personal info, it could be used to access linked data and enable fraud.
Targeted Parts TheftThieves may use your VIN to identify valuable parts specific to your vehicle then track you down to steal the parts.
Warranty/Service ScamsScammers could falsely claim warranty services or parts using your VIN.
Remote Access VulnerabilitiesSome mobile apps allow vehicle access with just the VIN, which cybercriminals could exploit. This is rare and requires extreme technical skill, but it is possible.
Potential Risks of Sharing Your VIN

Is it Safe To give Out Vin Number

Overall, yes, it is safe to give out a vin number because the vin number doesn’t contain any personal information about the owner. It only provides details about that specific vehicle.

How to Safely Share Your VIN

  1. Only share your VIN with trusted entities, such as serious buyers, insurance companies, or authorized service providers.
  2. Be cautious when sharing your VIN online or with untrusted sources.
  3. Consider running your own vehicle history report and sharing it with potential buyers to maintain control over your information.
  4. If meeting a buyer in person, allow them to view the VIN on the vehicle itself rather than sending it electronically.
  5. Stay vigilant for signs of potential scams, such as requests to pay for “special” reports or pressure to share personal information.

My Final Thoughts and Conclusion

While sharing your VIN is generally necessary and safe when selling a vehicle, you still have to be aware of the potential risks and take steps to protect your information.

By limiting your VIN’s exposure, working with trusted parties, and staying alert for red flags, you can minimize the chances of falling victim to VIN-related fraud or theft.

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Picture of Steve Momot - Author

Steve Momot - Author

Steve, a seasoned expert in the automotive industry, formerly held a car dealer license in Florida. With extensive experience spanning across car trading and mechanical work, he founded Autohitch. His mission? To guide both buyers and sellers through the intricate maze of car purchasing, ensuring a seamless and informed experience. Outside of the automotive world, Steve has a passion for fishing and capturing the beauty of nature through photography.


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