Members Can Play Role In Reducing Auto Risk

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DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla.-With credit unions struggling to boost loan volumes, one of the few bright spots for many has been auto lending. But car loans bring with them a potential increase in vehicle-related fraud, reminds one person.

Sandi Torres, SVP of sales and marketing for International Warranty Services (IWS), cautioned credit unions to remember that "there are fraudulent companies out there," such as those that send consumers a notice that their auto warranty has expired, or fraudulent repair facilities that "are sending in bogus repair bills or are padding them."

The key to prevention, said Torres, remains education-at both the member and CU staff level. If members are educated, for instance, they can then turn to the right place in the event of any contact or notice they receive that is fraudulent.

"We educate staff so that they can, in turn, look at their members whenever they are buying the warranty and at that moment say 'You have a good product; if you have issues, call us or call IWS,'" said Torres. "We want the members to call us; we want them to call member service. It's all about educating staff, and then it filters down to the members."

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