The National Automobile Dealers Association cautioned store managers and personnel that they’re likely to see two trends surface with regard to the Equifax security breach as customers arrive in the showroom or service drive.
Mark Scarpelli, who is the 2017 NADA chairman, specified the two probable scenarios in a blog post the association shared last Friday. Scarpelli mentioned dealerships are likely to get questions from customers about the breach itself as well as a potential increase in credit freezes and fraud alerts on credit applicants’ credit reports.
“Equifax has stated that information from as many as 143 million people in the United States was compromised,” wrote Scarpelli, who is president of Raymond Chevrolet and Raymond Kia in Antioch, Ill., and co-owner of Ray Chevrolet and Ray Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram in Fox Lake, Ill.
“Given the number of people affected and the sensitive type of information exposed, dealers should understand the basics of the breach and what it means for their customers,” he continued.
“If dealership personnel do get questions, it is important to first explain that the reported breach occurred at Equifax, and does not involve the dealership, data stored at the dealership or dealership processes,” Scarpelli went on to state.
Scarpelli suggested that dealerships should review guidance provided by the Federal Trade Commission regarding the Equifax matter. He also recommended that the FTC’s guidance can be even more help if F&I office personnel spot a fraud alert or encounter a frozen credit report.
“Dealers and their employees should also be aware that there are already scammers trying to take further advantage of the Equifax breach by calling consumers and trying to obtain personal information through false pretenses,” Scarpelli wrote.
The NADA chairman closed by touching on one other compliance element the Equifax incident might give dealerships a chance to re-examine.
“Lastly, this is a good reminder for dealers to revisit their Red Flags program to ensure that they are taking the required steps to detect and prevent scammers from opening a line of credit using someone else’s information,” he wrote in the .