DONNA HARRIS

A chance for F&I staff to build trust

Donna Harris covers automotive retailing Automotive News
Do you know what next week is? Drum roll, please: Oct. 17-23 is the third annual Protect Your Identity Week, sponsored by the Better Business Bureau and National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

The BBB and the credit counselors are encouraging consumers and small business owners to take advantage of more than 150 free events around the country, including educational workshops, credit report reviews and document shredding.

There are easy tips and resources online to fend off identity theft at www.protectyourIDnow.org. Advice in Spanish is also available at www.cuidesuidentidad.org. Among the online resources is a self-assessment quiz to determine an individual's personal risk of identity theft. The site also offers daily blogs from nationally known ID theft expert and McAfee consultant, Robert Siciliano.

Many dealerships sell identity theft protection contracts out of the finance and insurance office. Next week offers an opportunity to promote the sale of those contracts.

As a customer service, dealers can also promote ID theft awareness at their stores, on their Web sites and in other customer communication.

Customers entrust car dealerships with sensitive information. Smart dealers will take advantage of next week's activities to build trust with sales prospects and customer loyalty with their owner base.

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