WANADA hosts Fraud and Cybersecurity Seminar

Employees of Washington-area automobile dealerships received a crash course in fraud and privacy protection best practices on Oct. 16, during WANADA’s Fraud and Cybersecurity Seminar. Attendees of the event, held at the Pooks Hill Marriott in Bethesda, learned about common types of fraud that happen at dealerships, and learned about ways dealers can ensure they are in compliance with various U.S. and international data privacy regulations.


Prince George’s County Police Sergeant David Mohr, a member of the inter-jurisdictional Washington Area Vehicle Enforcement Auto-Theft Task Force (WAVE), said that dealerships are a prime target for fraud, given their large inventory of valuable, tangible goods, and the fact that most cars are bought with some kind of financing. He said dealers of all kinds of cars can fall victim to criminals who steal identities to buy cars, who use fake financing sources to get a car and then disappear, or those who simply manage to steal the actual cars off the lot.


Mohr said dealers should report cars they believe to be stolen as soon as possible, and urged dealers to make sure they fully scrutinize customers who might raise red flags. Mohr said that dealers should always be prepared to ask for extra forms of documentation from buyers, while running full background checks on reported places of employment, and fully verifying credit checks before a buyer is able to leave with a vehicle.


Michael Wright, a senior manager at the Baker Tilly law firm, discussed the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which provides EU citizens who reside around the world with enhanced protections against having their personal info mined without explicit consent. In view of so many diplomats and other foreign personnel on assignment in Washington, Wright said that it is critical for dealers to take care they are in compliance,  not just with GDPR, but also with similar laws implemented by Canada, China, the Philippines, India, and Malaysia. He noted, too, that language mirroring GDPR will soon take effect in Virginia.


Anyone who would like to receive the slides from the presentations should contact Kathy Teich at mailto:mkt@wanada.org, or by calling the WANADA office at 202-237-7200.

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