Thumbs Up To Protecting Your Privacy!

Finger Privacy

This $1,500 Datsun 510 gets a mention, not because I think anyone should buy it, but because of the seller’s interesting methods. Actually, this “finger in the photo” technique is one we see often. It is usually utilized by young women, but occasionally males jump on this odd bandwagon too. I’m assuming that they think it is dangerous to show their license plate number? I’m not quite sure what they are trying to protect though because the majority of these same people include their name and phone number right in the ad. It is much easier to find an address with that information than with a plate number any day. So, if you are are concerned about your privacy, don’t bother with the finger! Thanks goes to Chuck F. for the submission.


  1. jeff

    Well, given their address, you could drive there and slowly drive past their house while you write down the plate number. THEN you got them!

  2. Eric

    Leave your plate exposed… that way if I see you on the street and I know your car is for sale I might buy it… what cracks me up is when in one photo they cover the plate the next photo boom plate number…

  3. Richard

    the cars are all stolen

    • Horse Radish

      I know you were being zynical, but yes, that whole plate covering speaks volumes about the level of thought put into all of this.

  4. jimbosidecar

    HA! I’ve seen this many time, so I began doing the same thing. I didn’t know why the others or myself was doing it. I guess I must be a lemming

  5. francisco

    Dirty thumb nail. Was he working on the car?

    • Horse Radish

      he chews on them too, you cannot cut you nails this short without inflicting pain.

  6. Blake

    For when you just gotta hide that license plate. By any means necessary.

  7. The Chucker

    The plate must have been reflecting off their tinfoil hat.

  8. Charles

    There was a trend at the car shows for a couple of years for owners to cover the vin number on their cars. The thought is that some crook will get your vin number and clone your car. I say go ahead and clone my car, especially if the car is registered in my name!

    In my case no one is going to spend the money to clone my 82 Trans AM, or my 86 Trans AM for that matter. Even though they are both low mileage pristine examples with full documentation there is no profit to be made by cloning them. Now if I owned a low mileage pristine example 356 with full documentation I might worry.

    Probably the same sort of thinking as the thumb covering the tag number. The problem with that school of thought is that our tag numbers are in public every day we drive our cars. Since the car in that photo is a common variety old Datsun, I doubt if the seller has anything to worry about.

    • Audifan

      It’s not VIN number it’s just VIN. Why would you call it Vehicle identification number number? That would be “redumbnent” as in ATM machine or PIN number.

  9. chris

    I think it was first done because people were afraid to put info about where the car was for fear of theft. I bought a car off the site and the owner did not include his address…we met at a gas station to view the car. You would think that people would just do a little photo enhancement to remove the plate…like this.

  10. Barzini

    I thought the only people who had access to your address through your license plate were the police and the department of motor vehicles. Is there a way that other people would get access?

  11. Steve

    To me it’s just being cautious – what would prevent some CL wackjob from copying that pic of your car and posting it somewhere with a comment “I just saw the guy in this car raping a goat while selling meth to little kids” or whatever. If it ever got elevated to a police matter or the media got interested, they’d just run the plate and come-a-knocking.

    • Horse Radish

      It’s called paranoia, UNLESS
      ” ..“you WERE the guy in this car raping a goat while selling meth to little kids”

      • Aaron

        Just because you are paranoid, doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.

  12. Andy Frobig

    What’s the point? It can’t take more than five minutes to go through every 510 hatchback that’s still on the road in the whole country.

  13. A.J.

    People do it because they are morons. The same people who are scared to do a wire transfer because they don’t want to give out their bank info. Forgetting it is on every check they send out.

  14. Mark E

    The last car I listed for sale on a forum I posted pics of it and some a$$ was able to pull up the crapfox report from the license number which incorrectly reported both problems with mileage consistency AND the color of the car, believe it or not. I probably came off as a crabby old codger but man I was pissed having to defensively PROVE that crapfox was WRONG… >_<

    • Horse Radish

      How about a letter to crapfox ?
      Threatening to sue for damages would get that taken care of before you would need to have to post anything anywhere.

  15. Howard A Member

    Ok, enough of the paranoid seller, and concentrating on the car. This is actually a pretty notable car. It was the last year for the “Datsun” name and the 510. In ’82, this became the Nissan Stanza, and was very successful. Does CL only allow 4 pictures? And if so, instead of 4 pics of the body, why not include an interior and engine and underside picture. These cars melted away in the salt belt, and this is a very nice example ( from what we can see). Can’t go wrong here.

    • Miguel

      How do you define successful in the case of the Stanza.

      For anybody that has ever bought and sold used cars, they know to stay far away from Stanzas.

  16. Xander

    I have heard it said that people will make a clone of a license plate using a number from a similar car then run tolls with it. Trying to prevent this is what kicked off the plate covering trend. I doubt that most of the people who do that now are aware of this though.

  17. Charles

    Just for kicks and giggles we ran a Carfax report on a vehicle that we had purchased new and had owned for 12 years. The vehicle had no history of ever having any sort of accident. There was one incident when someone attempted to jimmy the door lock to break into the vehicle, but was apparently scared off. The damage was limited to a $70.00 dollar door lock, however this was labeled as a major incident on the report. Maybe they picked up the report because there were a rash of break-in’s that night and there was a police investigation? The vehicle had been driven 5K miles per year, and had just 60K on it at the time of the report, so there should not have been much history to report. The report contained several errors.

    Then we ran a report on a car that we had owned for 15 years. It had a five digit odometer which was on its third time around. The car had been in a serious accident. It just happened that I had access to another similar car with plenty of good parts. The totaled car was rebuilt from the salvage and a donor car, but retained the original vin number per instructions from the state inspector. The car started off as the family cruiser, and was handed down to our teen aged drivers who learned how to drive on this car. They put this old car through the ringer. The Carfax report completely missed the 300K mileage on this car and there was no mention of the major accident that resulted in a salvage title.

    I have paid for Carfax reports on cars that I was selling to add to the credibility of the car’s history, and most of the time they accurate.

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