According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in 2007 an estimated 1.1 million motor vehicles were stolen. How many of these were rental cars? The data is hard to come by. Nevertheless, the cost incurred by rental companies is steep.
Once a rental car is stolen, chances for a police recovery diminish each day. Many are shipped overseas. And if the rental agency is unaware until the end of the rental period that a theft occurred, the chances of repossessing the car decrease significantly.
As the sophistication of design technology has increased—making all physical documents forgeable—the number of fake documents has skyrocketed. As a result, identity fraud, which includes the loss of personal financial account information and ultimately theft, is one of the fastest growing crimes in America and has topped the Federal Trade Commission’s list of consumer complaints for years.
Three fraud prevention systems—two in the U.S. and one in Canada—are now available to help prevent ID fraud before the renter leaves the lot with your $20,000 asset.
Web-based System Verifies in Seconds
WIC ID, a Web-based real-time verification system from WIC USA Inc., instantly determines if identification data presented by customers (i.e., name, address, birth date, last few social security digits) matches independent database records accessed.
A car rental agent asks the customer to display his or her driver’s license. At least two pieces of data are then entered into the secure Web-based system. Within seconds, the verification process will determine whether or not data entered matches database records accessed. If information such as name and birth date does not match, various other questions can be asked.
The authentication process is designed to be inexpensive and immediate, minimizing any inconvenience experienced by customers as they wait for results, according to Paul Simpson, president of WIC USA Inc. The system does not retrieve or store data, so it poses no vulnerability to hackers. Nor does it compromise individual privacy, Simpson says.
Available now, the system costs per transaction about $1–$3 with no upfront, monthly or annual fees.