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Arizona transportation officials warn used car buyers of title fraud

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Transportation has warned car buyers to be watchful of title fraud following a robbery where 1,300 blank car titles were stolen.

A blank car title can allow a private seller to disguise a stolen, salvaged or totaled vehicle and can also be used to skirt required vehicle inspections.

ADOT advises anyone who wants to buy a used car to come in to a Motor Vehicle Division office where the vehicle identification number of the car can be run.

There are also online sites which will run VIN numbers for a cost.

The agency also advises consumers to check a seller’s ID and make sure it matches the owner of the title.

Buyers should also ask to see vehicle maintenance records and check that the VIN on the dashboard and the door sticker match with no evidence of tampering.

If you think you may have been the victim of vehicle title fraud call ADOT’s fraud hotline at 877-712-2370 or email

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