Identity fraud is on the rise across the UK with CIFA, the national fraud prevention service, reporting a record number of cases in 2018. Our industry is increasingly becoming a target and during Fraud Awareness Week, we wanted to share some top tips from our in-house experts to help you avoid scammers and fraudsters.

What is impersonation fraud?

Impersonation fraud is when someone pretends to be a different person or company in order to illegally extract money or goods from a business (in this case, to illegally obtain the vehicle and finance). This is an intentional act of deception involving financial transactions for personal gain.

We caught up with Chris Rowthorn, Head of New Business Operations at MotoNovo:

 “With so many individuals and criminal groups working hard to steal personal information to commit fraud we need everyone – dealers and team MNF - to stay alert and up to date with the risks to protect our business and our customers. Sharing information is absolutely key.”

What can I do?

1. Stay curious

Don’t be afraid to ask for more information if something doesn’t seem quite right. If the customer is legit, they probably won’t object to a few extra checks.

2. Avoid distance selling

This can pose an additional risk as you can’t monitor the situation as well. Anything irregular should be a red flag.

3. Keep an eye on current trends

Common themes are starting to occur in fraud, such as fraudsters working in groups of 2-3 men at a time. They might not question the APR charged and typically don’t want to pay a deposit. They’re also targeting prestige used cars such as BMW, Audi and Mercedes. Just remember, not all fraudsters will follow these trends, but it’s worth keeping an eye out.

4. Undergo extra checks

You could consider using the PRADO tool to assist with validating driving licences. Fraudsters won’t usually want to proceed if they have to produce a valid payment method, so another way to check their identity is to take a chip and pin card payment of £1 that is refunded straight away.

Where can I find out more information?

If you’re a MotoNovo dealer, head to the ‘Downloads’ section of the Dealer Hub and read through our document on the current active fraud ring. Our teams play an important role in fraud prevention for our dealerships, so if you have any questions or concerns, get in touch with your Account Manager.

Other useful links:

PRADO - Public Register of Authentic travel and identity Documents Online

Edison - Public Register of Authentic travel and identity Documents Online

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