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Fraud - Data Plates

A door data plate is like a birth certificate for your vehicle. It provides vital statistics about the paint, trim, axle, and transmission. However, reproductions have been available for over twenty-five years. And with their availability has come another avenue that fraudsters have used to cheat buyers. There are certainly people who simply want their tag to reflect their personal choices for their car. A person may have bought a green car and had it repainted Candyapple Red. They want the door data plate to reflect this. They have one ordered with their "updates."

That is not fraud. However, once the vehicle is represented as being original with these changes, it becomes fraud. The data plate shown below is an original tag. It has been weathered and scratched through the years, as is fairly common. What is wrong here is the axle code. It has been changed to a "G" to represent that it has a limited-slip rear axle. It did not come that way originally. In this case, the owner tried to represent to me that it was authentic and that his Marti Report was wrong.

As always, if someone tells me one of our reports is wrong, I will ask him to present his supporting evidence and I will examine it and look at the Ford database personally. When I received this picture, I pointed out the alteration in the axle code area. Notice the backside of the tag where there is an impression of a 1/4" circle. This was used to "blank" the original number that was stamped there. Then the tag was put into a stamping machine and the "G" was stamped on top of the original number. Even after pointing this out, the customer insisted it came that way. I can tell you Ford just doesn't operate that way.

If someone will try that hard to convince someone who is trained to spot fakery, believe me they will try it on anyone. If you are looking at a vehicle that you suspect has had an altered tag, order a Marti Report for 1967 and later vehicles. If it is a 1966 or earlier vehicle, contact us about examining the tag. For a fee, we will help try to determine if there are any red flags.