The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) calls it the Fraud Triangle – pressure, opportunity and rationalization. But dealers and auto lenders call it, “Yet one more thing to deal with during the pandemic.” As economic stressors continue and employees are increasingly burdened with coronavirus countermeasures, the risk of auto lending fraud slipping through the cracks grows.
How can you keep your credit union – and your dealer partners safe? Keep an eye out for the traditional bad actors as well as the new tricks these bad actors are deploying.
During the early days of the pandemic, dealership doors were shuttered and consumers remained sheltered-in-place. The trend toward digital sales accelerated, with dealerships forced to conduct business online and via phone. For Group 1, one of the largest auto retailers in the nation, online-generated sales tripled in May compared to pre-COVID-19 usage.
An online-only platform means verifying financial details and detecting fraud before the deal is passed to the lender has become more challenging. According to a recent report from Javelin Strategy & Research, total identity fraud losses reached $16.9 billion in 2019. Account takeovers rose 72 percent in 2019, with the criminal taking over a full account in more than half of the instances. When taking over an account, criminals assume an identity with multiple account updates such as: