3 Easy Ways to Prevent Fraud in F&I

3 Easy Ways to Prevent Fraud in F&I

Every time we turn on the TV or log into a news app on our phones, we are reminded of how easy it is to become a victim of identity fraud. Tens of thousands of people each year have their identity stolen in the process of major purchases like buying a car…the most common crime is using a social security number to open credit. All because an ID was copied or someone took a picture of a credit application with their smartphone. 

Guess what? It can happen at your store, too.

Let’s take a look at 3 simple measures any dealer can take immediately to prevent identity fraud: 

1) A Secure Office– Did you know that in any case of identity theft or fraud that occurs through a car sale, the dealer is always held liable? Many in the industry are shocked to hear that (crazy, right?) but that one crime alone can have a profound financial consequence for your dealership.  

Where you handle a consumer’s sensitive information is more important than you think. Outside of management, no one should be in the F&I office alone with access to deal folders that have personal information that could be written down or scanned with a smartphone.   

2) Disposal – Your store could desk a hundred deals that never get done and what you do with that paperwork is critical to protecting your store and the consumer. If you don’t have one now, invest in a large office shredder. It will be your best weapon against people that ‘dumpster dive’ looking for personal information in the trash. If a folded or balled up credit application is stolen, your consumer could be at risk of identity theft. 

Shred everything to be safe, both after the shopper leaves and in accordance with whatever your internal policy is on aged deals. 

3) Make Careful Hires – Who you hire matters. There are cases where identity thieves have intentionally hired themselves into dealerships to be able to access consumers personal and financial information. If your dealership is not already conducting background checks before hiring, start today.  

Consider letting your customers know upfront that your store has strict standards for privacy and ID security…they will have a deeper sense of trust and what dealer couldn’t use more of that in this business?