Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register
  • Want to remove ads? Register an account and login to see fewer ads, and become a Supporting Member to remove almost all ads.
  • The final cut of TMC Podcast #29 is available now with topics time-stamped. We discussed the Tesla Cybertruck's expected 1 MW Ultra-Fast Charging capability, the Tesla Semi Delivery Event, the coming Model 3 refresh (project "Highland"), and more. You can watch it now on YouTube.

How to steal any Tesla quickly and easily with no risk

Uhm... read the whole thread? OP described the issue at length.
Also, it's very easy to slide a piece of paper down and cover up the VIN.
Lightening rod up ... Yup, read it when it was new, fake bill of sale and all. I wonder what percentage of Tesla owners cover up the VIN. If it's that important it should be common knowledge. The news media would be all over Elon if they knew. Seems a risky visible VIN only exists in this particular thread.
 
Last edited:
easy ...and illegal. You can be ticketed for doing so. (very unlikely unless your car is involved in an accident, but possible)

VINs are usually sequential. They are not intended to be unguessable numbers.

It's certainly illegal to alter a VIN, but I can't believe anyone ever got a ticket simply for covering it. Anyone here with a ticket for that...??

VINs include a check-digit to inhibit fraud. It's not SHA512 but it's something?
 
Lightening rod up ... Yup, read it when it was new, fake bill of sale and all. I wonder what percentage of Tesla owners cover up the VIN. If it's that important it should be common knowledge. The news media would be all over Elon if they knew. Seems a risky visible VIN only exists in this particular thread.

I wonder if LifeLock will let me lock my VIN
 
  • Funny
Reactions: KArnold
Some states have the VIN on the registration sticker in the windshield. NY has had that for decades...

And on many cars (not sure about Telsa though), the VIN can be found all over the car on many panels, so it can be easy to find it if you know where to look, even if the VIN plate at the base of the windshield is covered and there's no VIN on the registration sticker.
 
Forgot to say......anyone can easily find a VIN just by entering your license plate number into an app. Give me your license plate info and I'll give you your VIN.

EDIT: I pulled this image off of Google. Using the plate number, I know this is a 2018 Model 3, VIN 5YJ3E1EA7F058552
 

Attachments

  • M3 VIN.jpg
    M3 VIN.jpg
    153.3 KB · Views: 19
Last edited:
Forgot to say......anyone can easily find a VIN just by entering your license plate number into an app. Give me your license plate info and I'll give you your VIN.

EDIT: I pulled this image off of Google. Using the plate number, I know this is a 2018 Model 3, VIN 5YJ3E1EA7F058552

Yes exactly. Assuming OP's story is true, and we have no reason to assume otherwise, it would seem that anyone with the VIN of a Tesla could initiate a fraudulent change of ownership with Tesla and take control of the car via the app.

You can also look up vehicle history, where it's been registered, where it's been repaired, etc. This is why when I post pics of my car online, I generally obscure the license plate and VIN.

My car (pictured in my avatar image) is currently listed for sale on Craigslist. I had an "interested" person who seemed truly interested in the car not just my phone number (which is most common with CL scammers) but something was off. He was asking questions about it that didn't make sense that made it sound like he was trying to come across like he knew about Teslas (when in fact it revealed the opposite). He asked several questions, but kept asking for a picture of the front of the car. I intentionally did not post a picture that showed the lic. plate, but virtually everything else of interest was visible. Finally I gave in and sent a picture of the front, but taped a piece of paper over the lic.plate. I also scrubbed the image of my gps location metadata. Never heard from the guy again.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: father_of_6
He asked several questions, but kept asking for a picture of the front of the car. I intentionally did not post a picture that showed the lic. plate, but virtually everything else of interest was visible. Finally I gave in and sent a picture of the front, but taped a piece of paper over the lic.plate. I also scrubbed the image of my gps location metadata. Never heard from the guy again.

I don't know how these scammers expect to make their scam work, but what they are often looking for are images that can be used in other for sale listings where they have nothing to sell, but are 100% looking to scam people instead.

Anytime I am looking at a sale listing now, I pull down any images to my computer and run them through a Google reverse image search to see if the same images have been used elsewhere / previously. There are a LOT of scam listings out there.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CyberGus

cgell

Member
Supporting Member
Jan 30, 2020
413
565
NJ
Do you ever drive your car in public? If so, it is trivial for anyone on the road to photograph your license plate and obtain your VIN.
True, but you can say the same about your home address. Your mailbox has the number and anyone driving by can easily find your name from the address. Does that mean you would post your home address online? I would think you would avoid it when possible. I know I would.
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top