Once again, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is protecting consumers by launching another free service.
Over one million vehicles have been stolen annually in the United States since 1986. With an annual average recovery rate of just 63 percent, several million vehicles remain unaccounted for and could possibly end up being purchased by unsuspecting consumers.
To help prevent innocent people from buying a stolen vehicle and to help recover stolen vehicles that may enter the commerce stream in the future, NICB today is activating the nation’s first Unrecovered Stolen Vehicle Database as a free service to the public.
Anyone anywhere can now run a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) through this database and determine if it has been reported stolen by one of NICB’s over 1000 member insurance companies.
To check a vehicle simply visit the NICB web site, www.nicb.org, and follow the on-screen directions for the VINCheck search feature which is located on the home page.
In recent months, NICB Special Agents have identified numerous stolen vehicles that were in the process of being sold by auto dealers or restored by collectors. These examples demonstrate how even car-savvy people can be duped into unknowingly buying a stolen vehicle. If it happens to experts then the risks are even greater for ordinary consumers.
Seeing a way to help mitigate that risk and to provide another free service to help protect the nation’s drivers, NICB sought and received the cooperation of its member companies to make this feature possible.
It was in this same spirit of cooperation and assistance that NICB’s member companies provided their Hurricane Katrina-related auto claims information to create the flood vehicle database. This unprecedented effort was launched on October 17, 2005, and amassed over 300,000 vehicle and boat records which gave prospective buyers critical information to prevent the fraudulent sale of potentially flood-damaged vehicles.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau is the nation’s leading non-profit organization exclusively dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through information analysis, investigations, training and public awareness.
Anyone with information concerning auto theft and insurance fraud can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 1-800-TEL-NICB (1-800-835-6422) or by visiting www.texasprimeinsurance.com.