A dealership salesperson often will take a customer's driver's license, walk to a photocopy machine and copy it ahead of a test drive.
Don't do it. Taking the license from the customer's line of vision is a violation of the law in some states. And if the salesperson carelessly exposes that driver's license information, say by forgetting an extra copy at the machine, that's another violation.
In California, "it's $11,000 per incident. So if you have six people's driver's license information sitting out, that's $66,000," said Rusty West, president of Market Scan Information Systems in Los Angeles.
Dealerships know they must protect themselves from deliberate fraud. But many forget to protect themselves from carelessness as well.
Experts say many dealerships do not do enough to protect customer paperwork in the showroom or to secure their data management system from infiltration. To prove this, many consultants, and dealers themselves, do secret showroom walkthroughs looking for violations. In many cases, they find sensitive paperwork left out in plain sight. That's a big no-no.
"Like most dealers, we're putting a lot more resources and attention on this," said Larry Kull, president of Burns-Kull Automotive Group in Marlton, N.J., and chairman of the American International Automobile Dealers Association. "What used to suffice -- common sense -- is certainly not adequate anymore."