Previously an officer in the Metropolitan Police Stolen Car Squad – part of the Flying Squad – Dr Ken German has a BA and PhD in international vehicle crime; he’s been key to many anti-theft policies and vital governmental and insurance decisions. He also developed the potential for transponders and parts marking, helping to create Datatag. Dr Ken is a world authority on motorcycle crime, and a key advisor to the industry...
Buying and selling a motorcycle (or indeed any car or vehicle) does of course require a bit of due diligence in order not to be scammed; there’s the potential to hand over your money for a stolen machine, or – if you’re selling – having the ‘buyer’ ride off, never to be seen again.
False driver’s licences are becoming more readily available in the UK, so sellers need to check documents very carefully before trusting anyone with their property; the pictured, rather outrageous Facebook selling page post suggests that, for the right price, you could still purchase a licence, and indeed anything very easily.
Criminal groups offering new and altered driving licences have been particularly active on the continent for the past couple of years and are now becoming more prevalent in the UK. The documents promise a different name or zeroing of any points by suggesting they can compromise the DVLA database.
Also available online are driving licence theory and practical tests, which the scammers say can be passed for you at certain test centres in your name, again at the right price. First payment would get you a theory test certificate sent to the DVSA, followed by ‘proof’ and your licence being updated showing you’ve passed.
Second payment suggests a pass certificate can be organised for the practical test from which you will get a full licence in the post.
Also available are false MoT certificates and insurance documents (which could be produced at the scene of an accident) for sale from just £50 to £200.
If you know where to look, passports are available for around £500 that really wouldn’t get you into or out of any country, but could be used to deceive an unwary buyer or seller.
Of course, many sites offering fake driver’s licences and other documents will themselves be a scam, taking your money then supplying nothing, or at best a very poorly produced replica. But realistic documents are available to those looking to deceive, giving the opportunity for people to be on our roads who aren’t qualified or insured, and to use their fake IDs to convince others that they are who they say they are.
If you’re selling a bike, car or any vehicle privately, always check any forms of ID very carefully, but ultimately do not allow the buyer to take the vehicle away without having the money safely in your hand. Of course, forged money is also in circulation, so again, check it very carefully before handing over the keys. Most fake cash wouldn’t fool a bank, so sellers need to look over all of the notes very carefully before accepting them.
While it’s an Italian site that requires a valid law-enforcement sign-in, the International Documents Information System (IDIS) was started a few years back by Italian police officers to show what the real documents from various countries should look like. It also has a list of ‘fantasy’ documents, which could fool people presented with a document that’s claimed to be from overseas, which are freely available for anyone to view: