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obfuscating number plates: why?

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by ashsimmonds, Apr 11, 2004.

  1. ashsimmonds

    ashsimmonds F1 World Champ

    Feb 14, 2004
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    ...considering all the effort many people go to in order to get some vanity plate on their car, and that it must be communicated when attempting to liquidize the vehicle (in oz at least).

    is it just a "too modest for silly vanity" sign? :D

    what are the potential consequences? any real-werld stories?
     
  2. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
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    I don't understand what you're saying.
     
  3. ashsimmonds

    ashsimmonds F1 World Champ

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    okay, i could have also asked: why blur the license plate when posting photos of your car online.
     
  4. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
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    It might not be the same in Aus, but in the US with a license plate # you can get a lot of info about someone. Although it takes a bit more effort to look up, it could be likened to driving with your phone number on your car - and some people would like more privacy when posting on the net, whether to avoid theft, harrassment from people they don't know, etc.
     
  5. chaa

    chaa F1 Veteran

    Mar 21, 2003
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    Remember as well exitics cars are stolen to order, then shiped to different countrys, also a car id can be changed. I have many ways of obtaining an address here in the UK by the use of a reg plate, get the REG=ADDRESS.In alot of places people know police officers who will do certain things for a price of a drink or do-nut.LOL Maybe folk wont want to beleve this goes on but BELEVE IT!!
     
  6. ashsimmonds

    ashsimmonds F1 World Champ

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    alright, so why not drive the car with no number plates? sure, the nutbag-per-capita ratio is far greater in the online world, but it's people who can SEE your car in person who are more likely to want to get 'information' about it/you.

    but yeah, you can't get a person's details here just from a number plate, and i doubt it could be that easy anywhere. just imagine being a poor old hot chick driving along, and all some dirtbag needs is your license plate to get all your information. no, i don't buy it, he should at least have to follow her home and get the information the old fashioned way, stalking. :D
     
  7. David_S

    David_S F1 Veteran
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    Blurring the plate is probably a nice gesture, but mostly useless as far as preventing theft goes. A decent theft ring won't likely start by looking for pictures with plates exposed, they'll do something like this:

    Step 1: I've got a "customer" who wants X car.
    Step 2: The people I use to obtain vehicles are located @ A,B,C.
    Step 3: Vehicle registration records indicate an exact match is available near location B, and a near match is located near C.
    Step 4: One or both cars are physically located & possibly obtained.

    If you have the resources, you can find where a car of a given description is supposed to live without first knowing plate or VIN.

    Now if anybody wants to find my Z3, it's sitting out on the driveway available for sale or theft :)
     
  8. chaa

    chaa F1 Veteran

    Mar 21, 2003
    5,058
    My background and work is security, when i say to you that i can get your name and address from your reg plate, you beter beleve it dude. This is from expereance, some guys lets say are doing survalance on one of my clients here in the UK, i have the contacts to find out who they are from there plates. You are working on asumpsion i am working on facts. Useing your example,......you see a hot chick in her car and you have a brother who is in the police....what do you think. Ilagal or not this goes on. Not wanting to get deep and heavy here becourse its not the place but... thats why so much wool is pulled over Jo publics eyes, becourse they think such things dont happen.Any ways thats how it is.
     
  9. ashsimmonds

    ashsimmonds F1 World Champ

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    well okay, now we're talking people abusing positions of 'power' and levels of corruption. when it comes down to people of such fortitude wanting something, the issue is somewhat academic.

    i'm sure we've all had positions in which a great deal of sensitive information was available to us. but i guess that's what you're on about where joe public feels responsible in his position, as opposed to the lowest common denominator who we have to combat every day who will be entertaining 'entrepreneurial' endeavors.
     
  10. tvrfreak

    tvrfreak F1 Rookie
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    ash, you really have a very complicated way of saying some very simple things.

    License plates are blurred out of security concerns. It's far too easy to find out personal information these days. People drive around with license plates exposed because it's the law. Efforts are underway to have license and registration information concealed in a "black box" that can only be interrogated by police and authorized personnel. While still open to abuse, it would put one more hurdle in place for the professional crook (ie. they would have to obtain the reader, which will not be easy). It would certainly stymie the casual crook or online stalker.

    Those who face personal danger have to employ physical security measures such as hiring bodyguards or driving a circuitous route and taking countermeasures and defensive driving training.

    Those with the kind of cars that need real protection employ advanced security measures. They register the car in other parties' or company names and keep them at locations different from the address stated in the registration document.

    I have also seen decoy cars and motorcycles that are fairly realistic.

    Few things will stop a determined thief, but there's plenty of precautions you can take to put obstacles in their way. Blurring the license plate in online photos is a first step.
     
  11. chaa

    chaa F1 Veteran

    Mar 21, 2003
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    Spot on TVRfreak.
     
  12. DrStranglove

    DrStranglove FChat Assassin
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    Mine is "DESHIZNIT"


    DrS
     
  13. UroTrash

    UroTrash Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Does this mean I'm at risk of getting my '72 Chevy Vega stolen showing my Avatar?
     
  14. bobafett

    bobafett F1 Veteran

    Sep 28, 2002
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    Particular apt, I might add! :D

    --Dan
     
  15. SefacHotRodder

    SefacHotRodder F1 World Champ

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    ^ awesome
     
  16. Forza1

    Forza1 Formula Junior

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    lol, it's obviously a joke...


    -DC
     
  17. Korr

    Korr F1 World Champ
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    YES, BUT WHAT IS IT????
     
  18. Slim

    Slim Formula 3

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    When I was in high school (1980s) another kid rammed into the back of my '67 mustang in the parking lot. He pleaded with me to not call the cops because he would lose his license and I let him convince me he would just get another trunk lid for my car and have it painted and we'd be all good. So after school I went to the address he gave me for his house and no one was there. I thought he stiffed me.

    So I took the license plate number I had written down from his car, went to the nearest payphone and called up the police at another town in our area and pretended to be an officer from our police deparment. "hi this is sargent X and our system is down can you run a plate for me?" and the loser gave it up! He said "that new fancy computer system you have still don't work?" ha! Turned out the address I had was the same and I eventually got the new trunk lid so all was good, but it was a good lesson in how to get information you need.

    Try that one sometime. It'll save you the trouble of going to DMV (where you can request that info from a plate or at least could a few years ago).
     
  19. tvrfreak

    tvrfreak F1 Rookie
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    Slim, what you engaged in was a very basic form of social engineering. Find two organizations that work together, and call one while pretending to work at the other...you will be amazed at how helpful your co-workers are.

    There's a thousand other (some very sophisticated) exploits that have also been perfected, and new cons are being devised all the time.

    Read Kevin Mitnick's book, The Art of Deception, if you are interested in learning how to protect yourself from some of them.

    Be on guard at all times. But sometimes, the cons are so good that there is simply no defense.
     
  20. bobafett

    bobafett F1 Veteran

    Sep 28, 2002
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    Slim,

    As minor as it is, good thing you used a pay-phone. Stupid cops would give you some impersonating an officer BS and make life difficult.

    --Dan
     
  21. EnzoNZ

    EnzoNZ F1 Rookie
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    Here in NZ I can walk into an agency with a license tag and get the complete ownership details of a car - Name, sex, address etc. It's public information. I frequently get details of cars this way to to keep track of all of the F cars in NZ. There are companies that buy records of every plate and then offer resale. I could ask for a copy of every record that has a plate attached to a Ferrari and would instantly have the names and addresses of all Ferrari owners in NZ - scary but true. I have only heard of one Ferrari being stolen here in the last few years.

    Regards
    Andrew in NZ
     
  22. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    I had a freeway run in with a big motorcycle gang here in Texas.

    They ran my plate faster than the DMV! By the time I got home they had called and threatened my wife.

    I told 'em to stop on over, and kept reloading!

    She worked for AT&T, and had all new numbers in about 30 minutes.

    I'll kill 'em all, next time.

    Disclaimer: Not intended to be offensive to overweight Harley riders who dabble in illicit activities on occaision. Don't Tread on Me.
     
  23. F-passione

    F-passione Karting

    Mar 31, 2004
    173
    Orange County, CA
    Here in CA I don't think it's that big a deal. The DMV won't release any info and the only ones that can get it are cops etc. I'm sure there are other ways but it's no worse then someone seeing you driving around and recording your license plate. Any other CA people know of some scams regarding this?
     
  24. ashsimmonds

    ashsimmonds F1 World Champ

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    and that's sort of what i figger.

    i'd be more worried about trying to sell my car, as at that time i would be giving out all my details, and possibly showing potential unscrupulites exactly where i park it, and likely some of the idiosyncrasies to the car itself.

    and then there's buying a car... what's to stop the PO from keeping a set of keys and following you to a shopping car park?

    i don't know, it just seems there's greater things to worry about than some mega-nerd coveting your car on a web page... but i understand of course, even small measures are better than none.
     
  25. DrStranglove

    DrStranglove FChat Assassin
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    (On my tag being "DESHIZNIT")

    I assure you it is not. When I get back I take a pic for you!!!!!!


    Drs
     

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