This month, Automotive News took a close look at finance and insurance fraud. Our section was fairly comprehensive, but one detail that shouldn't be missed? Fighting fraud is a group effort.
Lenders and vendors are working toward developing consortia to get ahead of fraud, and dealerships typically have their own guidelines to follow in the store.
Still, dealers shouldn't be left only with their own resources. Dealers and lenders should share information that could help fight fraud.
Jeff Kearney, executive director of enterprise fraud, security and investigations at Ally Financial, called dealers Ally's "front-line defense." Dealerships often test fraud detection tools at Ally's request.
And when lenders encounter or hear of a rogue employee at the dealership, it's in the best interest of the lender and the dealership to let the dealer know about it. The dealer likely values his or her relationship with the lender, so the complaint will be taken seriously, said Steve Bowman, chief credit and risk officer at GM Financial.
If the F&I manager for some reason doubts the customer's authenticity but lacks enough resources to perform an extremely thorough check, a heads-up to the lender could pay off. And the team effort will likely strengthen the lender-dealership relationship. The lender will recognize the dealership's care and diligence, and the dealership will hopefully be able to count on the lender for extra verification.
One lesson the industry can take from multiple elements we found in our fraud reporting: Team up.