Lack of Identity Verification in Everyday Life

  • Identity Theft, Identity Verification

I was recently in the market for a new vehicle.After a few test drives of different vehicles, I knew exactly what I wanted. Thanks to modern technology, it was very easy to shop around and find the best deal.After some email correspondence and a few phone conversations to negotiate both the amount of the trade as well as the purchase price, we came to an agreement and all that was left to do was drive to dealership, do a test drive and sign.Without performing any type of verification (not even seeing me in person), I got approved for the loan. Had it not been for a trade-in, I probably could have purchased the vehicle via mobile phone, signed a few faxes, and had the vehicle shipped to me.

Upon arrival to the dealership, they had all my paperwork printed and just waiting on my signature.This time they did make a photo copy of my out of state drivers license but that was only verification ever performed.They accepted a personal check for the down payment and the address on the check isnt even the same address as on my drivers license.I brought my checkbook but thought Id have to make the down payment either with a credit/debit card or go to a bank and get a cashiers check.They did inquire about the address mismatch but accepted my explanation that I moved.After maybe an hour or so (probably 20-30 minutes was spent driving the vehicle) I drove off with a new vehicle.

How easy would it be for an identity thief to purchase something such as a vehicle?Even if the ID theft victim had credit alerts and was alerted that their credit was pulled, it would be too late.A theft would get approved, instantly purchase the vehicle, sell it most likely across the border and pocket the money.It would be virtually impossible to repo the vehicle and someone would be out the $20k+ rather the victim, finance company or the dealership. With quite literally an extra few seconds of time, this whole situation would be avoided and the victims credit report wouldnt even have gotten dinged.EVS would have caught the thief on the spot through our KBA (knowledge based authentication) challenge questions.

[Contributed by Eric Knapp, Vice President of Client Services]