Identity theft can happen anywhere. According to Edmunds.com, car dealerships are one of the most common places your identity can be stolen.
It’s not hard to understand once you think about all the information you hand over during the car shopping process.
To even get behind the wheel, you hand over your driver’s license. It has enough information someone else can use to get utilities in your name. And almost always, the dealership makes a copy of it. How many employees now have access to your home address, date of birth, and your state identification number?
After a test drive, always ask for the copy of your license back or watch them shred it.
But if you make it to the financing phase, the dealership pulls a credit report which has your social security number, date of birth, bank account numbers, and credit card numbers. Forget about data breaches, your most valuable information is now printed and circulated.
So How to Protect Yourself?
Eva Velasquez with the Identity Theft Resource Center says:
It’s really more about asking them what policies they have in place and seeing if this organization has a culture where they are promoting protection of your identity and your information.
Even good businesses can have bad things happen with employees even if the business has taken all the right steps. So you we really need to be watching all our accounts and getting our credit report every three months. View or reviews on competing identity theft protection services here.