Please tell me you've noticed this too around Tyler or Longview or Jacksonville or anywhere else in East Texas

Really junky looking cars with those paper dealer tags on them. Surely your eyebrow has raised and you asked yourself "did a car lot really sell a car that bad looking to someone?" After running across this news story, we may know why now.

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I've seen it several times while running errands around Tyler, really junky looking cars with dealer tags on them. One vehicle I saw was a 2010ish tan Toyota Corolla with the back end completely crushed in with a dealer tag where the license plate should be. There is no way a car lot of any kind would have sold that vehicle in that kind of shape.

I saw another vehicle that had several dents in it with lots scratches with a dealer tag on the back. I've seen a couple of others that looked really bad all with dealer tags. I really wish I had taken a picture of any of them but I was driving and I'm not going to fool with my phone just to do that.

It's really bothered me to see that thinking a dealership of any kind would sell a car that looked like that. After running across this story out of KXAN in Austin, I may know why I've seen this in East Texas. I'm not saying that's what is going on with what I saw but it could be.

"Texas is leading the way,” said Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Brannon Coker with the Houston Division, “in the volume of paper tags that are being fraudulently issued across the country."

According to the KXAN story, people are able to register themselves as a legit car dealer and then are able to print off dealer tags to be placed on vehicles. These vehicles are sometimes used in criminal activities. These "dealers" will even sell their tags to people in other states, which becomes a felony at that point.

A viewer of KXAN sent a photo to the news station showing a car parked in New York with a Texas dealer tag on it. The tag said it was from Kasniels Auto in Houston. This particular "dealership" had been shut down by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

It's a big problem and Texas is the hub of this crime. The FBI is even involved now. Again, the particular instances I've seen in East Texas are not necessarily this but it does raise an eyebrow. As far as what to do if you see something like this that looks suspicious, I'm not sure, but I would start with calling police and at least get it reported.

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