Is Your Car a Victim of VIN Theft?

Thieves are now targeting more than just car parts.
1:58 | 01/25/15

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Transcript for Is Your Car a Victim of VIN Theft?
Next up. ABC investigation, thousands of cars stolen in America every year. Most sold for parts but now thieves are targeting something even more valuable. ABC's gio Benitez shows how your car could be stolen and not even know it. Reporter: Mike cella tried to do something thousands of Americans do every day -- trade in his old car. But that's where things get strange. The dealership tells him he won't get full value for his gmc yukon because of accidents in its carfax report. That's news to Mike. He says, "Well, you know your car comes up and it's showing me that it's got four accidents in it?" I looked at him and said, what are you nuts? He says, "Well, your car shows up in Wisconsin and Illinois. Reporter: Wisconsin? But Mike lives in massachusetts! What's going on? Carfax and the national insurance crime bureau start digging. Senior special agent buzz burzynksi, suspects the vehicle's identification number on Mike's car, the V.I.N., has been cloned. We deal with about 12 million a year in cloned vehicles and the loss for each person is roughly $30,000. Reporter: Thieves stole the number from Mike's car then put it on a different car to mask the theft. V.I.n. Cloning is a clever scheme to bring in big bucks for thieves because they can sell the stolen car without a trace. How do they do it? Well, all they need to do is find the V.I.N. Number on any car, and then just copy it down. Misty, who doesn't want us to use her last name says this stolen yukon ended up in her hands when she unknowingly bought it from a dealership in Wisconsin, also a victim in cases like these. It's just crazy that something like this happens in a small town. Reporter: In most states, people like misty lose thousands of dollars. After the police take your vehicle, it's your problem. You lost your car. You lost your money. Reporter: Lucky for misty, Wisconsin law makes the dealer who sold her the car pay her back. As for the crooks behind that theft, they're still on the run. Gio Benitez, ABC news, New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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