A robbery at a Phoenix title processor has the Arizona Department of Transportation warning consumers about the potential for title fraud.
When an authorized third party motor vehicle services business was robbed in late May, the suspect made off with 1,300 blank vehicle titles. That case remains under investigation.
While the Transportation Department has checks in place to protect consumers against stolen titles, investigators with the agency’s Office of Inspector General note that blank titles provide many opportunities for criminals to commit fraud.
First, they can be used to retitle stolen vehicles, salvaged vehicles and vehicles deemed totaled by crashes. They can also be used to skip vehicle inspections when one is required.
The Office of Inspector General maintains a list of serial numbers of stolen titles that is regularly shared with law enforcement agencies, Motor Vehicle Department offices, authorized third party businesses and other entities.