CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. — Compliance firm Automotive Compliance Consultants is warning dealers that they’re attractive candidates for would-be ID thieves and federal regulators. It believes dealers are being targeted and issued a warning yesterday.

Recent actions taken by the Federal Trade Commission against a dealership to settle violations of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLB) Act and the Safeguards Rule make clear: Dealers are no longer flying under the FTC’s radar. The firm also said dealers are an attractive beacon on the radar of criminal elements.

“If your idea of financial compliance is the issuance of a privacy statement, and a written document you created or bought five years ago, then you are playing Russian roulette with the FTC and identity thieves, and you and your customers will be the big losers,” says Terry Dortch, president of Automotive Compliance Consultants.  

Recent incidences prove how vulnerable dealerships can be and how the FTC is changing to enforce auto dealership compliance. In a recent complaint against Franklin’s Budget Car Sales in Statesboro, Ga., the FTC alleged that the dealership failed to take reasonable safeguards to protect and secure customer information. The dealership hit the FTC’s radar when the information of approximately 95,000 customers was compromised and made available on a P2P network. 

“The message being sent by the FTC should concern every dealer who’s unsure of just how secure and how compliant his or her dealership is today,” Dortch adds.