Thieves are always looking for new ways to defraud consumers

You certainly can't deny that thieves are predatory and unscrupulous characters who will often do just about anything it takes to deprive an honest person of his or her property.

You also can't deny that many of them are creative, responding in novel -- and often quite cunning -- ways to efforts aimed a thwarting their sole objective: the taking of your stuff.

A recent article focusing on motor vehicle theft underscores that point.

It begins, quite rightly, with the preface that old-school ways of thievery have largely disappeared for bad guys eyeing your car parked on the street. Who breaks a window and hotwires an engine while being scrunched down in the driver's seat these days?

Transponder keys for most newer vehicles have changed things dramatically. A key sends radio beams to a vehicle to start it.

So, and in lieu of forcibly gaining entry to a vehicle, enterprising thieves are getting their hands on those devices, often by merely showing up at a dealership or locksmith's shop with a VIN number. They steal your car and quickly resell it.

Here's a new twist on motor vehicle fraud. A thief snares your personal information -- sometimes encompassing Social Security number, bank account numbers, credit card info, employment-related data and so forth -- and, following that ID theft, walks into a dealership and simply buys a car in your name.

This is a "new and creative way" of stealing, notes an ID theft resource center executive.

Indeed, it is, and there will always be new -- sometimes botched, sometimes successful -- efforts made by fraudsters, scam artists and thieves aimed at stealing a consumer's property or committing crimes in that unsuspecting person's name.

These days, it is simply an imperative for all honest people to be vigilant in consumer-related matters. Those who aren't can be fleeced.

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