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Old 10-30-2006, 12:58 PM   #1
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1976 Argosy 20
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Salvage Scam???

I just left the DMV in California and tried to pay for this year's registration. When the DMV searched my plate and vin #s, they told me that my Airstream was salvaged in Feb 06 and the title holder is a wrecking yard in a far away county that I have never been to! I have the title, it's in my name, and so is the last year's registration! And the trailer has been in my posession for two years! I don't know how this happens, but it is truely a pain in the you know what for me now!

So, my options are to haul the trailer into the DMV or to have a law enforcement person come and check it out where it sits in storage and fill out a form!

Does anyone know how this happens, or if this sounds like some kind of scam?

Thanks!
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Old 10-30-2006, 01:11 PM   #2
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Yes, I have heard of a scam like this, they do it with both cars and houses. I'll see if I can find the details of it. But yes, it's a pain for the victim who didn't do anything wrong and has to sort out the mess!
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Old 10-30-2006, 06:37 PM   #3
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Pretty scary! I am no longer the owner of my trailer according to the DMV, I plan on taking it to the police dept for a vin verification this week, so I will keep you posted.

Thanks!
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Old 10-30-2006, 06:45 PM   #4
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Hello SilverSurfer , you probably should take it to the highway patrol office over on Calliereal there past OSH. show them your registration from last two years ,Im sure they can confirm VIN and all .I had our 60 trdwnd checked there when i bought it 3 years ago ,they were cool . anyway the DMV
surely can see that you have owned the airstream for a couple years and have the proof of it ,they registered it in the first place .I hate the DMV
and the thing is ,what one person says can not mean anything when the next
time you go back you hten hjave a different person who hardley takes notice of anything and registers it right away ! beenn there before myself .It is
a very irritating situation for sure .

Good Luck on your trouble

Scott of scottanlily
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Old 10-30-2006, 06:54 PM   #5
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sounds like your luck with the dmv is like most of us. Hey maybe you just need to get it smogged! every 2 years. Good luck Tim
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Old 10-30-2006, 07:02 PM   #6
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I am a 30+ year law enforcement officer and I would place a call to the local Police Department, Sheriff's Department, or Highway Patrol and tell them that your want to make a stolen vehicle report. Tell them that ypou want an officer to come to your home, and DO NOT take NO for an answer. When the Officer arrives, explain the situation to him or her. I think that you will get the proper attention this way.
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Old 10-30-2006, 07:24 PM   #7
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If you are caught towing your trailer on the street, you could possibly be charged with grand theft, and the trailer impounded, and given to the scammer. Remember, in the eyes of the DMV, it is no longer your trailer until you prove otherwise. Have a law enforcement officer come to your home, and let them make their report.
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Old 10-30-2006, 07:32 PM   #8
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And I would think you should never list the full VIN on any electronic media when selling, describing, or otherwise talking about your various vehicles. Might that be a way for someone to get your vin in the first palce?

Take care,
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Old 10-30-2006, 07:34 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone, I will have them come to where my trailer is. In a way, it has been stolen, but I still have it. Identity theft on my trailer! I will have the local police out tomorrow.

I will let you all know how this sorts out.
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Old 10-30-2006, 08:50 PM   #10
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The problem is that not until the 80's did the feds mandate a 17 digit vin so that the earliers years had duplicate #'s issued. So the vin may be the same but for a dif make, etc. And yes its a problem. But it can be worked out and fixed. Just follow through and show your docs.
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Old 10-30-2006, 08:59 PM   #11
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rolwil Do you run the DMV or something/ Great information. Did you find your fuse panel, get your girls home ok/ eat all the extra spuds? PM me on that. Tim
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Old 10-30-2006, 10:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinoburb
And I would think you should never list the full VIN on any electronic media when selling, describing, or otherwise talking about your various vehicles. Might that be a way for someone to get your vin in the first palce?

Take care,
Hi, I noticed a few of us including me put our VIN on this site with our profiles?

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Old 10-30-2006, 10:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS
Hi, I noticed a few of us including me put our VIN on this site with our profiles?

Bob
Some also put their dates of birth also. Think how much information can be gathered with a name and date of birth. While I listed one, and it's close, one or two digits are incorrect. Be careful with the personal info you share. It's unfortunate that we have to even consider these things, but we do in today's world.
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Old 10-31-2006, 04:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags
...Tell them that ypou want an officer to come to your home, and DO NOT take NO for an answer. When the Officer arrives, explain the situation to him or her. I think that you will get the proper attention this way.
More details please. With all due respect, how do you convince a police officer to do something he doesn't want to do (i.e., come to your house to take a stolen vehicle report)? And then, what do you do when he arrives to find the vehicle was NOT really stolen and, in fact, is sitting right there in your yard?
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Old 10-31-2006, 05:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukionna
More details please. With all due respect, how do you convince a police officer to do something he doesn't want to do (i.e., come to your house to take a stolen vehicle report)? And then, what do you do when he arrives to find the vehicle was NOT really stolen and, in fact, is sitting right there in your yard?
You need to show the documentation from the DMV showing the scrapyard now has title to the trailer, and the date it was supposedly acquired by them, as well as your title and registration from the past several years, and insurance papers, if you have any.
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Old 10-31-2006, 12:42 PM   #16
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So the other issue here is did the wrecking yard have a trailer they resold with a new serial number plate with your numbers on it? This could be a larger problem than you realize. If so, where did they get the trailer to start with? It definitely needs to be researched by the police as these guys may be doing something highly illegal (or not) but you never know. If your trailer gets stolen right now you don't even own it as far as DMV is concerned....

It will be interesting to see how this all pans out for you. Please keep us posted, and good luck.
Barry
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Old 10-31-2006, 02:15 PM   #17
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Or it could have been something as simple as being a digit off on the VIN on the salvaged trailer that no one caught. There may be nothing criminal in this at all; it may just be a clerical error. California DMV has a fraud detail as do the CHP. Once the VIN is verified on YOUR trailer, and YOUR title and registration are sorted out, someone will eventually track down the OTHER trailer and figure out what the deal is. If it was a VIN switch, then the trailer will be seized and the crooks prosecuted (if, of course, they can figure out who really did the VIN switch and who was an innocent buyer).

BTW, if it WAS a VIN switch, the innocent buyer will be out the cash; the State grabs the trailer; and the only recourse the buyer has is to sue the original crook!

Roger
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Old 10-31-2006, 11:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukionna
More details please. With all due respect, how do you convince a police officer to do something he doesn't want to do (i.e., come to your house to take a stolen vehicle report)? And then, what do you do when he arrives to find the vehicle was NOT really stolen and, in fact, is sitting right there in your yard?
Hi, I wouldn't do that; It might be considered the same as a false report. Be more creative. I went to DMV when I first brought my trailer home from Oregon. DMV wanted me to bring my trailer to them for VIN verification. I had a hard time trying to find a place to park my 17' Navigator there yet alone another 26' for the trailer. But I was forced to make an appointment anyway. Before my appointment date, there was an accident down the street from my house. I went down there to see what was going on and if I could help in any way. After everything was over I asked the Lakewood Sheriff, while he was here, if he could do a VIN verification for me. He was more than happy to do it and was fasinated about seeing a new Airstream. ["Didn't know they still made those."]

Bob

I just got an idea. Take one or more wheels off of your trailer. Call and ask if someone could come out to your house for a VIN verification for DMV because the trailer cannot be moved.
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Old 11-01-2006, 01:16 AM   #19
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Salvage Scam

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS
Hi, I wouldn't do that; It might be considered the same as a false report. Be more creative. I went to DMV when I first brought my trailer home from Oregon. DMV wanted me to bring my trailer to them for VIN verification. I had a hard time trying to find a place to park my 17' Navigator there yet alone another 26' for the trailer.
We just tried to register our trailer from out of state and first of all our local DMV (Culver City) couldn't figure out what to call it. The clerk could only find "Coach trailer "or "park trailer." I told them it wasn't either of those but in order to get the computer to accept it, they put in "park trailer." I paid fees and then was told to have the trailer weighed and inspected. Since our trailer is stored 50 miles from our home, we went to the DMV in Thousand Oaks and the inspector was so taken with our Airstream, he verified it right away and knew that it is a "camping trailer". I went back to the original DMV to complete the paperwork and it took 3 more clerks to get the computer to accept it--the computer wouldn't take the weight so maybe we didn't even have to have it weighed. Then I had to pay more money to have a camping trailer than a park trailer. Who knows? It seemed as though no one had ever registered a travel trailer in Culver City, CA before....can that be? Anyway, we are now legal.

It is a good point about not putting the VIN on our profile.....good luck with getting your trailer out of salvage land....keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 11-01-2006, 10:13 AM   #20
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Silver, If you are near a Courthouse they have vehicle inspection deputies.
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