Sunday, September 15, 2013

2k: Give A Mitsu The Finger: 1997 Mitsubishi 3000GT

This feature violates all of DT's basic tenets, specifically it isn't rear-drive, manual transmission, remotely quick, or even a good deal...so why is it being posted?  Simply because it allows us to ask our readers about one of the oddest phenomenon on craigslist just this side of ALLCAPSLOCK.   It doesn't matter that this is a 1997 Mitsubishi 3000GT non-turbo, front drive, slushbox with 230k miles on the odometer offered for $1800 somewhere in Kansas, because you aren't going to buy it...but you will help us answer the question: Why do people cover their license plates.  Tip from ANCMatt.


It is clear that the photographer's purpose was to cover his license plate with his finger...but we aren't quite sure why.  Craigslist is littered with advertisements where the seller has obscured his license plate with an old rag, t-shirt, Photoshop wizardry, a kitten, or (as in this case) a well placed finger.  But why?  What is the purpose?  What possible reason would a seller need to conceal his license plate?  If it is somehow to avoid criminal activity, remember that the same criminals can just drive down the street and see your finger-less license plate in public...un-obscured and ready for whatever trickery they have planned.

 
Got a good answer for the finger?  Discuss below in the comments.

14 comments:

  1. One of life's greatest mysteries, this.

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  3. Obscuring the plate is normal. If I didn't people would think I was careless and odd.

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  4. the finger! best explanation looks like it started on honda modders forums - a $6000 car stuffed with $30,000 worth of goodies is a great target for theft - the aftermarket parts are untraceable - license plate info can apparently be used to get an address fairly easily, legally or semi-legally - now, for your average crapbox, who cares, right? plus your car sits in plain view all the time anyway - but that's a little different than permanent, infinite visibility once you post on CL - i personally cover my plates with tinfoil in parking lots and such, anywhere there could be drones or whatever

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  5. I'm sure the source of this is probably the more valuable cars. I'm sure there is some internet site that can give you an address based on a license plate. People that have or are selling a $100,000 car want to make sure it doesn't disappear in the night simply because there is a photo online. But this car? The guy should post a picture of the plate, "Take my car ... please".

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  6. ~ throw the finance company, title loan joint off your trail??

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  7. It's generally advisable to remain as anonymous as possible on the internet. The plate can tie the post to your real identity without much difficulty. Just because you have nothing to hide, doesn't mean it is not a good policy. Likely nothing bad would come of it, but keeping the control is not a bad idea.
    One scenario would be a scammer could look up the plate and resolve your phone number to your name and address. It could be used then to insurance fraud etc. The finger is an easy way to put up a barrier to an unknown scam. Myself, I use a piece o paper.

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  8. Where EXACTLY on the web can one receive personal info from a license plate? I do not think that assumption has been proven. Let' use my personal 955 BSM (Florida plate) as a test case.

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    1. http://lifehacker.com/5900349/learn-the-identity-of-nearly-any-car-owner-with-their-license-plate-number-and-a-simple-google-search

      Most the sites want a $30 subscription, which is too far for me to go to prove a point. TLO has vehicle sighting reports too which is creepy. Generally what the search sites do is buy the database from the state, since the information is public domain, then sell the searches. I know a guy who does this, but not for Fla.

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    2. Read the comments on that lifehacker story - everyone agrees that it was just another gawker media story with an enthusiastic headline that was writing checks its body couldn't cash. I don't think it is impossible to identify someone by his license plate, but I think you could just call the guy up via the CL ad and ask him, he'll probably just tell you his name and address hoping you aren't a serial killer and just want to buy the car. Finally you can finish your license plate lookup based human taxidermy collection. Still see zero reason to cover your plate unless you are doing something shady.

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  9. on the theory that no one ever went broke underestimating the common sense... i just filed a patent on a "Locking Device to Cover or Obscure Vehicle License Plates" - i'll make millions, retire to pensacola - ok, no i didn't, and now i can't probably - oh well

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  10. I like the theory that the Honda modders started this. Given what happens to any Civic or Integra not locked in a guarded warehouse, I don't blame them. There probably isn't that easy a route to figure out where you park it, but any comparative advantage is a good one when you have a car that is apparently only driven by lowlifes who rip each other off.

    Guy up the street from me had three Civics and a set of rims get taken in one year. He switched to a Cobalt SS.

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  11. Not for this application, but for Track Events, I tape mine over, so that if pictures surface, Insurance companies can not see it and cancel policies for using my car in a High Speed Track Event!

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