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TfL fined me for driving in the ULEZ – has someone cloned my car plates?

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Show caption Sign at Tower Hill in London for the ultra low emission zone. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Consumer champions TfL fined me for driving in the ULEZ – has someone cloned my car plates? A reader received charges, but their vehicle was in a car park at the times the ‘offences’ took place Miles Brignall Mon 14 Feb 2022 07.00 GMT Share on Facebook

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Sometime in January someone started falsely using my car’s number plate. The first I knew about it was a parking charge at Stansted airport, which was quickly sorted out when I explained it wasn’t me or my car.

However, shortly afterwards I received two charges from Transport for London for supposedly driving in the ultra low emission zone. At the time of the violations, I was alone in my flat in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, and my car was in a nearby car park. Due to my schizoaffective disorder, I spend a lot of time alone in my flat. As a consequence, there are no witnesses who can vouch for me and no evidence I can provide to prove my whereabouts.

This is fairly normal for my type of disability and doesn’t usually cause any problems. I explained all this to TfL via an online form but it is demanding more evidence, including photographs of my car.

I tried to upload the photos but can’t find the online button to do so. TfL is now demanding I post them but I don’t own a printer and my agoraphobia and paranoia are such that I can’t access anywhere to print them. It seems someone else with the same Peugeot car as me is driving around with cloned number plates. Can you help?

RM, St Ives

For most of us, having a car number plate cloned would be hard enough but it has been particularly challenging for someone in your position. Car cloning seems to be a growing problem in this country. Fraudsters and criminals spot a car of the same, make, model and colour, and get a fake set of number plates made up. It saves them having to buy insurance or tax and to pay parking fines and other charges, as the bill is sent to the real owner, who then faces a battle to show it wasn’t them.

I took up your complaint and was able to email the photos of your car which has slightly different wheels to the one caught driving in London. TfL now accepts it wasn’t your car. It has dropped the two £80 demands, and has noted the cloning on its database.

The DVLA advises those in your shoes to contact the police. You should also write to the DVLA with the crime reference number, allowing it to “keep a record of the matter for future reference”.

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