Number plate cloning – how you could get stung

RACQ said criminals were duplicating number plates to get away with racking up huge toll bills, fines and even stealing petrol.

RACQ’s Russell Manning said there were even reports thieves were going to second-hand car yards to find legally registered plates to replicate.

“It’s concerning just how easily this can happen. Back in the day, thieves used to simply steal the number plate. But with the advances in technology they don’t even have to touch the car to get away with it,” Mr Manning said.

“What’s worrying for owners with plate cloning is you don’t know about it until the fines start rolling in.

“It begs the question whether it is time we reconsidered number plates being the only form of identification for your vehicle for police and toll road operators.

“We may be at the time where we have to become more sophisticated and look at technological identifiers like electronic vehicle tags.”

Mr Manning urged anyone who received a fine or infringement notice and did not believe it was their vehicle to alert the authorities.

“No one wants to be caught out with a fine and blemish on their permanent record for a crime they didn’t commit.”