7 On Your Side: Car ID theft

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Nina Pineda has 7 On Your Side. (WABC)

As if we didn't have enough to worry about, right? The numbers on your car's license plates are being duplicated by car ID thieves. And these scammers stole the number and started racking up tickets - even before the driver was issued her temporary tag.

Chelsea Dobrowolski thought she got caught. Her temp tag number's snapped on EZ Pass' camera, blowing through toll without paying.

"Holland Tunnel, Newark Airport. 1 and 3 a.m. in the morning," Dobrowolski said.

But the 24 year old says she was NOT behind the wheel.

"I could have a warrant out for my arrest because of my plates," Dobrowolski said.

Her plates, this temporary tag, issued by the dealer when she bought her used Ford Escape in March, have been hi-jacked. The stolen auto ID, photographed dozens of times on someone else's vehicles. What kind of cars were going through? A white Jeep and a blue Mercedes.

Chelsea says she's been trying to clear up her car's ID theft when she got the first set of 10 violations, mostly from the NJ Turnpike Authority.

"One day for five hours, I made calls to this person and that person trying to email people and was getting nowhere," said the frustrated car owner.

NJ EZ pass and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority requested proof of her cars registration and the tag number. So she says she faxed copies and a letter to the agency.

"And I heard nothing back from them," Chelsea said.

In the meantime, the beauty school student supporting herself as waitress, kept getting more fines, plus hefty fees, for the unpaid tickets along with threatening collection notices.

"I didn't know what to think. I just knew it wasn't me and I was being blamed for something and could get my license suspended and it just scared me," Chelsea said.

So we got involved and started to steer Chelsea out of her stalled situation with EZ-Pass.

"I got dismissal letters from New York and New Jersey EZ Pass," Chelsea said.

Within days, they dismissed the fines and fees and finally taking Chelsea's balance to 0.

"Thank you so much you have no idea you helped me so much," Chelsea said.

NJ EZ Pass and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority told us it's seen an increase in this crime in recent years. New Jersey's Motor Vehicle Commission said it's constantly updating it's security measures to stay one step ahead of crooks.

Best thing to do is if you feel you've been scammed, document the problem. And, if you notify agencies of the problem, keep proof that you sent it, like fax confirmation sheets and certified mail receipts.
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7 On Your Sideidentity theft
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