The very first thing a crook will do to hide the history of a car is he will attempt to change the VIN number on the car and on the documents that support the car. To the unsuspecting buyer this can be done easily and quickly. To a well experienced, honest person in the auto business undoing this cheap fraud is even easier. There are several places on the car where the VIN number is evident and several that aren't. An experienced mechanic can quickly get to the more hidden places where a VIN number is stored and can expose the crook in his game.
From that point forward the car will be officially branded as one that attempted to conceal damage by virtue of a phony VIN number - easily checkable by anyone who takes the time to run a VIN number check on a used car before buying. Furthermore, there are a whole host of minor repairs that can make a very damaged car look acceptable. Obviously, a quick paint job and ding/dent removal will make the exterior of the car look much better and if that's all the car needed it's well worth the money.
However, if the paint job is there to simply cover more extensive damage, say massive rusting due to flooding or other water damage, the cheap paint job won't be looking so good after a few months of normal wear and tear. Finally, covering the bottom of the car with tar, or undercoating, which is normally done to protect the undercarriage from road wear, can be excessively applied to cover damage which will not become evident until a short time has passed and the seller has left town with your money. All of these devious "repairs" when done by unscrupulous people that carry no paperwork attached to the car are done by crooks to hide the true history or condition of the used car you are buying.
Matthew Henderson is editor at Auto-Fleet.com. Stop by for a huge selection of information regarding vehicle history report, auto warranties, auto loans, improving your credit, drivers ed, traffic school and much more!