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Woman warns Ontario drivers after getting caught up in licence plate cloning scam

An Ontario woman was surprised to find out her licence plate was duplicated by another driver after multiple Highway 407 bills landed in her mailbox.

“When I looked up those dates, it was the Easter weekend and I wasn't even in the city,” Obioma Dike told CTV News Toronto.

Obioma Dike received three Highway 407 bills after her licence plate was fraudulently duplicated. The bill indicated that Dike took Highway 407 three times – on April 8, 9 and 28 – for a total cost of just over $60.

She asked for camera evidence of her car travelling on the provincial-owned highway that spans from Burlington to Pickering, and received images of what appeared to be her licence plate secured to a Nissan like her own.

“But it’s not my car,” she said.

A close look at the tolled vehicle compared to Dike’s shows differences in the details – one car has a dealership plate, is a SV model and has a flared frame around the radiator grille, while the other has none of these features.

“This appears to be a case of fraud where the person’s licence plate number was duplicated,” Christina Basil, a spokesperson for Highway 407, told CTV News Toronto.

“Unfortunately, fraudulently duplicated plates do happen. 407 ETR will always reverse charges for customers if we can confirm the criminal misuse of their licence plate.”

The car tolled on Highway 407 (left) compared to Obioma Dike's car (right). In situations like this, Basil said customers should report their licence plate as lost or stolen to the police and return the plates to the Ministry of Transportation right away. The ministry added that they encourage drivers to launch formal inquiries when these situations arise.

Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said the fraudster appears to have intentionally chosen a vehicle that almost identically matched the one with the original licence plate. 

“The suspect vehicle was in fact trying to impersonate the victim's vehicle,” he said. “That would certainly cause me pause.” 

Schmidt said he doesn’t know what the intentions of the driver were in this case, but if they were committing a crime, the licence plate duplicate could be used as a getaway vehicle.

“Obviously this is a concern for everybody,” he said.

While Dike got a new licence plate and is seeking a refund on her bill, she’s still left wondering, “if somebody were to be using my plate number, what else could they be doing with my identity?” Top Stories

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