• Apr 12th 2010 at 8:21AM
  • 9
It's true. Those souls that spent the majority of their elementary-school education ratting out their classmates to the teacher may have finally found a new way to be a pain make some money. Several new websites have recently started up, all encouraging people to record license plate numbers they see in their area. The more plates they pull down and enter into the sites, the more cash they make – at least theoretically.

Why would anyone want a boatload of license plate numbers? It depends on the site, but the majority of the operations, including Narc That Car, are pointed toward giving repo companies up-to-date information on where delinquent borrowers are keeping their vehicles. So if your neighbor is behind on his car payment and you turn in their license plate number, they may be asking you for a ride to work before too long.

Of course, not all of the plate-collecting sites are designed to out people down on their luck. Others, like Data Network Associates, hope to use the information gathered by users to help police quickly locate vehicles during an Amber Alert – a noble cause, even if the way the information is gather is slightly below board.

There may be some reason to take pause, though. Most of the sites pay very little per each plate, but hand out more cash if users help sign up friends and family. If you're starting to think this sounds an awful lot like a Bluth Company special, you're not alone. The Better Business Bureau is already taking a hard look at a number of the sites in question, including Narc That Car. When push comes to shove, it pays to remember that what seems too good to be true typically is.

[Sources: Narc That Car, Data Network Associates, Red Tape | Image: The Altered Art Store]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      While this may help the repo men (and fananciers), this has a huge potential for disaster. Neighbor A rats out neighbor B. Neighbor B kills neighbor A. Neighbor A's family sues the rat and all businesses involved.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have no problem with anything that aids in the repossessing of deadbeats' vehicles or the capture of those who prey on children. And if people can make a couple bucks while helping out, all the better.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I read the full write-up on MSNBC a couple of weeks ago regarding 'Narc That Car' site/biz and I still am a bit steamed about it; and the fact that there are so many people who have already signed up for it. I wish it was a way to "Reveal That Narc".

      I know license plates are basically public knowledge (must be located for all to see), but then some jerk down the street is copying my plates just to pocket a few dollars, that's not right. It would be different if I was running down joggers or terrorizing neighborhood kids --- I'd expect to get reported. And then this dumb-azz site is selling the crop of information to anybody will to buy the list. No wonder I get so much pointless junk-mail and tele-ad calls during dinner..
      • 5 Years Ago
      Snitches get stitches.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sorry, if you can no longer make the payments on your new Escalade you won't get much sympathy from me. Every time my deadbeat neighbor defaults on a loan it costs the rest of us who play by the rules money.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If your neighbor defaults on his car loan, more than likely you are being serviced by different financial organizations and insurance carrier; what he does will not affect you. A rise in rates b/c your neighbor defaults is only an excuse by your insurance to raise YOUR rate ---- it would be another issue if your community suddenly had more accidents, break-ins, and/or car thefts.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This has nothing to do with insurance. And if you don't think that having your neighbor default on his loan doesn't affect you then maybe you should go back and do some reading regarding the housing crisis/Wall Street bailout. That's costing us more than we'll probably ever really know. Sorry, but if you can't make your car payments there are better options than dodging the repo man.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes. But how does ratting out your neighbor solve the housing crisis? I think that a good portion of housing credit problems are due to credit default swaps as opposed to falling behind on a mortgage. Learn the difference between the disease and the symptom.
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