VSA Industry Dealer Alert
March 1, 2022

FRAUD: Identity & Credit

Please be on the alert for an increase in fraudulent activity leading to potential vehicle theft on Vancouver Island. Fraudulent purchase attempts have occurred at multiple dealerships recently.
A police report has been filed: File number 22-2714.

The Reported Fraudulent Process:

  • person calls dealership to inquire about a specific vehicle
  • person requests a Carfax, inspection report and asks if vehicle is available for financing
  • person mentions they have just moved to BC from out of province
  • person asks to do credit check over the phone using fraudulent credit information
  • identity information is typically a mix of “out of province and in province” credentials
  • credit comes back as very good (low 800’s) opening up options for prime bank financing
  • person delays coming into dealership until 10 minutes after closing and forgets temp BCDL
  • due to mixed identify credentials (out-of-province Driver License & in-province Temp Driver License), insurance plates cannot be issued at time of signing
  • person asks for car and dealer plates for the evening with a promise to return in morning with proper credentials to purchase insurance
  • person does not return (dealer plates and car are not returned)

This is an important reminder to all dealers to ensure proper processes are in place when it comes to phone sales and credit information being provided over the phone. Please ensure that a person’s identification is thoroughly vetted and that credit applications or credit card payments match appropriately. If in doubt during an evening deal, and if identification is missing (in the case of a temp BCDL and an existing out of province Driver License) defer releasing vehicle until next business day when all information is at hand.

Tips for Verifying Identification:

Third party verification services are available from both Equifax and TransUnion.

Here are some tips to follow when verifying an individual’s identification:

Study the cardholder information as well as identification:

  • Listen or watch for signs of anxiety (online meetings or in person)
  • Compare the physical description to the cardholder
  • Compare the picture to the person (ask for better visuals if needed)
  • Compare the signatures – if the cardholder is signing for something
  • Ask the cardholder questions about their ID
  • Ask for a second form of photo ID, such as a current passport (especially if out of province identification is used).

Please be on alert for fake identification. Follow your dealership’s guidelines and educate yourself on potential identification fraud.

The following link provides information on how to identify a legitimate BC Driver’s License:


Standard features of a BC Driver’s License:

Examine the ID carefully:

  • Polycarbonate, durable design, you will notice a “tinny” sound if dropped on a hard surface
  • Raised laser etching of the name on the surface of the card
  • Miniature/Micro-printing throughout the face of the card
  • Fine line background and security spiraling to make photo substitution difficult
  • A slightly overlapping raised etched signature to make photo substitution difficult
  • Colours that blend across the front of the card
  • A “ghost” image with your year of birth on the right hand side that can be felt by touch
  • Licenses issued in February 2020, and onward, will have the silhouette of a BC provincial animal.

It is important to review your selling practice.

Thank you for your assistance.