A microdot is text or an image substantially reduced in size onto a small disc to prevent detection by unintended recipients. Microdots are normally circular and around one millimetre in diameter but can be made into different shapes and sizes and made from various materials such as polymer or metal.
The Microdot or MicroTag technology is applied to an asset. The unique number on the Micro Tag is registered to the lawful owner in the Recoveri database. The criminals are aware that if they steal the asset; the number will be circulated worldwide via the Recoveri Hot Dot register making the asset easily identifiable as a “stolen” asset.
Cloning a motor vehicle is the equivalent of identity theft. It simply entails stealing a legitimately owned vehicle's identity. Cloning refers to the exact duplication or copy of a legally bought and registered motor vehicle.
South African criminal syndicates are among the best in the world at vehicle cloning, however changing 10,000 microdot identifiers, linked to the original manufacturers VIN, is a near-impossible task.
The Microdot adhesive has an ultraviolet (UV) base. Law enforcement agencies identify tagged assets with the use of ultraviolet light. The tagged asset will glow when exposed to UV light.
The Recoveri Microdot or MicroTag cannot be easily removed without destroying the asset. The UV based adhesive dries within 15 minutes of application and hardens within 12 hours.
Business Against Crime shows that microdot technology has greatly reduced the number of vehicles stolen in South Africa. Microdots are a cost-effective, strong deterrent to criminals.
A HOT DOT™ is a Microdot or MicroTag number that is registered in the Recoveri™ database and marked as stolen. This means that a user has reported the asset as such, and the asset should not be purchased.
This would depend on the application
Polymer Microdots: Are typically used on all assets as they are non-conductive and extremely safe in all situations.
Metal Microdots: are typically used on assets that are not of an electronic or electric nature due to conductivity issues. It is not recommended to use metal microdots on motor vehicles, laptop computers, sound systems etc. and especially not if it is dispensed in an aerosol can!
After extensive Research and Development, Recoveri came to the overwhelming conclusion that aerosol application is not safe (See Hidden Dangers of Aerosol). Not only were the SOC's (Substances of Concern) required as a propellant a concern, the fitment operator "index finger" became extremely painful from depressing the nozzle and this may result in the early stages of carpal tunnel affecting the compliance of the fitment procedure! The aerosol nozzle also blocks, not allowing all the microdots to be fitted. This is a result of the adhesive build-up on the nozzle. Due to occupational health and safety rules, motor vehicle OEM's do not allow aerosol cans in a manufacturing plant!
The average time it takes to fit 15,000 microdots to a motor vehicle is 3.5 minutes. This is due to Recoveri's expert process engineering, which gives them a competitive advantage.
VIN Microdot vs PIN Microdot – MIB Motor Vehicles
We feel obliged to draw attention to the Risk (pitfalls) and costs (additional) of specifying VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) Microdots as opposed to PIN (Personal Identification Number) Microdots.
VIN Microdots were used from 2000 to 2006 when databases were not available to query PIN microdot numbers, which, in turn, are linked to Vehicle VIN numbers. Ultimately, Law Enforcement agents are the end-users of microdot technology in order to identify stolen or cloned vehicles and further use microdotting as a forensic tool!
Furthermore, VIN microdots were used to prove warranty claims with the misconception that it was easier for the OEM / MIB.
The Industry use of VIN Microdots was shortsighted due to the risk and confusion caused when second-hand car parts were re-cycled onto vehicles already in the car park!
Law enforcement officers worldwide are against the practice of using VIN Numbers on microdots as this leads to the potential risk of unlawful arrests due to Microdot VIN mismatch (for whatever reason) to vehicle VIN, especially at the VISPOL (Visible Policing) level.
Any current Microdot manufacturer or Provider who knowingly still condones the Microdot VIN practice when they are well aware of the above risks has no concern for the end-user. The current markets worldwide have moved towards consumer protection, thus eliminating any risk that may adversely affect any consumer. MIBs / OEMs are at risk due to these trends.
Major Motor Manufacturers (VWSA, Daimler Chrysler, Scania, BMW SA Motorcycles, FORD SA, Mahindra SA, Volvo, TATA Trucks, Yamaha Motor Cycles and Honda SA, to mention a few) have adopted the PIN Method of Micro dotting due to the above inherent risks involved and the vast cost savings achieved!
MIBs that have successfully migrated from VIN Microdots to PIN Microdots experience major cost savings of 45% and, in some cases, an even higher percentage saving.
Furthermore, PIN Microdots add an additional level of security as the VIN number is no longer displayed on the microdot but is housed in a secure database.
Please see the Risk / Cost matrix, as per Annexe A, compiled as an objective tool to evaluate the best solution for Motor Vehicle MIBs and OEMs.