The Red Flag Law On January 1, 2011 the Red Flag Law went into effect, this new law requires all financial institutions and creditors to help fight identity theft. In order to protect the privacy of consumers it was necessary to create guidelines for businesses to follow when creating this law. Legislations have been passed to hold businesses responsible and accountable when such incidents as identity theft occur. Of course businesses do not want to be held accountable, for such incidents. The Red Flag Law lowers the risk and gives businesses a checklist to go through when writing their formal and revisable identity theft prevention program. Businesses must follow these steps when receiving any personal information from any of their customers. Not protecting someone’s personal information can put your business at risk; avoid this risk by complying with the Red Flag guidelines. Dealerships and consumers’ should work together and gain trust within each other. With the help of the red flag law more businesses and consumers can help prevent identity theft and dealerships can protect themselves from these situations. Create a checklist which points out all red flags of identity theft and creating procedures to help diminish the potential damage for both the business and customers.
Did you know as many as 10 million Americans will become victims of identity theft every year? Consumers are the main target when it comes to identity theft. You as consumers should take better precautions when making purchases or providing your personal information, it can strongly prevent identity theft from happening. Do research before going into the dealer not all sites can be trustworthy. Build confidence with the people you will be dealing with. It may be difficult at first, but following these steps can prevent you from long term devastation emotionally and financially. The red flag law is not only to help protect dealerships but to help you as a consumer as well. Protect yourself; shred all bank statements, old credit cards, keep credit card numbers in a safe place in the event of losing your wallet in any situation. Being proactive can save you from losing personal information, also from becoming a victim of identity theft.
Do your research prior to walking in
• Make sure the dealer has an SSL certificate on their websites forms and that the secure logo is clickable to see that it is still valid
• Analyze their website: good content, updated site, URL matches the domain name
• View business ratings on Google and Yahoo, Better Business Bureau rating
Ask the right questions when visiting a dealership:
• Ask for vehicle history reports.
• Ask about warranty they offer
• Ask how long their company has been in business
As a dealer you are responsible for all your customers’ personal information. There are many financial forms your customers will be filling out either in your dealership or online. For this reason it is especially important for you to protect your company by following the guidelines given by the red flag law. You as a dealer should keep up with all technology. Your customers pay close attention to how well you maintain your site and how well you will protect their privacy. Do not get left behind prove to your customers that you are willing to do whatever it takes to protect their privacy. You do not want to be responsible for any of your customers that may lose their identity. To see a business already complying with the red flag law visit them at: http://www.dealervortex.com/index.html. This is a site that has the latest technology and secures their customer’s privacy. They are a great example to follow by. It is a very risky situation, however if you follow the guidelines you will be protecting yourself more than you know it. Make your customers feel as though they can trust you with all their personal information.
Stay on top of things:
• Constantly update your sites content, keywords, images, increase your website traffic
• Offer your customers a safe and secure site, SSL certificate
• Make sure you have the latest technology
• Make sure your ratings are good on the Better Business Bureau, Yahoo and Google
By identifying red flags in advance, you will be better prepared to point out any suspicions patterns as they arise. You will then feel more confident being in this situation knowing you are protected, by taking the steps to prevent red flag from escalating to a pricey occurrence of identity theft. Take advantage of other resources. Comply with the new Red Flag Law and save your dealership and consumers from becoming victims of identity theft.