MSNBC
April 6, 2010

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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Can you make money just by writing down the license plate numbers of cars in your neighborhood? It might sound like a game your older brother made up to keep you busy — but two aggressive start-up firms are telling consumers to do just that, and both are spreading the word quickly online. But how does it work?

One of the two, Dallas-based Narc Technologies Inc., offers a simple explanation. They want you to rat on your neighbors. The firm’s Web site, NarcThatCar.com, is designed to collect license plate numbers and locations so lenders can more easily repossess cars when the owners default.

In other words, the firm wants consumers to become the repo man’s informant.

Its chief competitor, Data Network Affiliates, says it has no intention of getting into the business of repossession. It says it plans to use its database of license plate numbers to help find missing children through Amber Alerts. It also hopes to sell the data to other information-hungry marketing firms, and to turn its user base into a kind of buyer’s club.

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