Des Plaines, Ill. — The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through information analysis, investigations, training and public awareness, is launching a free service to help protect the nation's 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 is activating its Unrecovered Stolen Vehicle Database as a free service to the public.

NICB reports that more than 1 million vehicles have been stolen annually in the United States since 1986. With an annual average recovery rate of just 63%, several million vehicles remain unaccounted for that could possibly end up being purchased by unsuspecting consumers.

Anyone can now run a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) through the database to determine if it has been reported stolen by one of NICB's 1,000-plus member insurance companies.

To check a vehicle’s status, visit the NICB Web site 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.

Source: NICB

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