‘To The Point’ Bonus Episode: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Auto Fraud
In this bonus episode recorded at the Point Predictive 2023 Auto Lending Fraud Roundtable, Sgt. Darren Schlosser of the Houston Police Department Auto Theft Division and Sgt. Dave Navarro of the Orange County Auto Theft Task Force present their findings from the front lines of fraud.
This was one of the most highly anticipated sessions of the conference, and it is filled with insights into some of the most pressing challenges facing fraud detection today.
Click below to listen to the full episode or read the full transcript.
This is To the Point, a podcast from Point Predictive.
Thanks, gents for coming up and talk to us a little bit about the front lines of auto fraud. There’s microphone, and I think you’re gonna screen. Yep.
Sgt. Dave Navarro
Okay. Good morning. Everybody hear me back there. Everybody here probably understands that cars here in the United States are built better, a little bit more horsepower. So if the suspects can hang on to the car long enough and have a contact in another country, they could sell it obviously for triple A value. So the ports, the port cities are high target. And also drug routes.
Suspects figured out a lot of the rental fraud cars are used to run dope cross the states. And then of course, you look at the top states where a lot of the drugs end up are part of that whole list of it. Now Vegas comes into play, because what is why do we like to go to Vegas? Gambling entertainment, like to show off, you know, VIP it all the way correct. So you got to understand the criminals that are involved in the fraud. What do they like to drive? So who’s involved?
On the illegal side, obviously, there’s people that are legal that could afford these vehicles. But they like doing this criminals like to do the same thing that we like to do. Except they obviously like to steal money and go vi- vip all the way where I’m trying to save money and go on the different websites to get the cheaper hotels, and they just go and spend and splurge. So a little bit of everybody’s involved. And you know, criminal, street gangs, drug dealers, and then they all learn from each other because they see, you know, one group will look at the other group going, “Man, how are they doing that?” And then they’ll go make contacts and befriend each other somewhat. And then they’ll start learning from each other. And they’ll take on and do the same kind of trends.
So crimes committed, committed pretty much everything one day, and this is on the auto fraud side. So once they’re able to get the cars, what do they like to do they go commit their crimes, which involves a little bit of everything. So our current trends that we’re seeing both in Texas, California and throughout the United States, we call it hybrid identity theft. So instead of full blown identity theft, you have the suspects using their real name, real picture, and then also just using somebody else’s information. So like Dave Navarro, I’ll just go find another Dave Navarro using TLO LexusNexus, or on the web, on the internet, and use their social security number, but then I’d use my own driver license.
And so they’re not afraid they’re not really concerned about law enforcement catching on, because they’re, they’re so rampant, they’re so good at what they’re doing. They’re more concerned about the vehicle getting repossessed, that’s what they’re mainly concerned about, especially with the criminal justice system. Now, a lot of them are just getting a slap on the wrist, because again, it’s property crime, especially in LA County, which is in California. You could go steal the car, and you’re gonna get a ticket, you’re not going to get booked into jail. And you’ll just get a ticket and I’ll just go do it again over and over and over again.
So that’s they, they understand how the system works, and they take advantage of it. We got business acquisition, just like Frank was talking about with fictitious businesses or suspects or going online, finding a business that’s closed down, they’re going to the same website reregister it under their name, and then they’ll use that business again. Credit washing rental fraud, title washing, title washing with VIN switched vehicles, or cloned vehicles and then title washing with fictitious out-of-state titles, impound extortion and then social norm scams that really took off, especially during the COVID season. Turn it over here.
Sgt. Darren Schlosser
Okay. So talking about Houston specifically, we still see the traditional three ways of doing fraud in Houston. One is what Frank just talked about with the check stubs and the fraudulent history, that’s the document fraud, we have traditional identity theft. Now we see a lot of that, because what happens when somebody is a victim of identity theft, they actually report it, correct? So when you’re a victim, it gets reported, we get made aware of it, y’all get made aware of it. That’s how we know.
Synthetic identity on the other hand, if I was going to turn it into a life of crime, that’s what I would do. Hands down, because who’s gonna report themselves to the credit bureaus? Nobody, you create a synthetic identity, you’re not gonna report it, you’re just gonna use it until it’s abused until they do have a total bust out on it, right? But then what’s crazy is they’ll take these busted out synthetic identities, and they’ll do a credit repair on them and use them again. So that’s kind of some of the stuff that’s just crazy out there that think that you can make a whole new human create the fraud bust it out, and let’s just go ahead and clean it up again and use it again.
So there’s two aspects I talked about on synthetic. So with synthetic identity, there’s the full synthetic where you make a totally new human, everybody knows about that I can use his last name, his first name, her date of birth, her driver’s license number, obtain some sort of CPN and then start building a fully synthetic person out of thin air, you know, so we all know how that is how it’s done.
But what we’re seeing a rise in is the hybrid synthetic. So when we have the actual innocent person thinking that, “Okay, my credit is ruined, I have, you know, I went through a divorce, I went through a certain situation in my life. So my credit is torn up, somebody offered a chance to rebuild it.” And when they rebuild it, they’re not realizing they’re comitting a felony offense, because in most states, pretty much all states that I’m aware of, if you use anything but your God given social on a credit application, you’re committing a felony offense, it’s called false statement to obtain credit in Texas. So these people that are being duped into believing that it’s a legitimate way to restart your credit, they can actually become criminals overnight. Now, some of them are using CPNs. And they’re hybrid, to purposely create fraudulent trade lines, so they can bust them out and move on to the next one, then when it comes time to pay the piper with that money, they say, “Hey, look, that’s not my social. I don’t know who did that. But that’s not me.” Right? So we see a lot of that happening.
But usually when I’m seeing it, it’s the person that is innocently using it. So in my world dealership calls and says, “Hey, listen, this, we got chargeback on this loan, they said that it’s a kid’s social, or some sort of fraudulent social that was being used.” And then when I do the deeper dive on it, there’s no criminal history on the person. There’s no intent in my book, that they’re actually trying to commit a crime. It’s just a synthetic CPN that they’re using. And when I talk to them, they’re usually freely telling me “Yeah, credit repair agency that I found on Facebook marketplace, said they could offer me a new social, new way to develop history.” And, you know, it’s kind of hard for us as law enforcement to go after somebody like that when we don’t see any other indicators of crime to actually follow up with that. We’ll let you do your little section here.
Sgt. Dave Navarro
So on this one here, and I put up this information, this case has already been filed. So if you put a PRA request, you’re gonna be able to get all the information so it’s already public record, but hit it one more time to see if it comes up.
So here’s our suspect on top Brenda Gonzalez, that’s where we get the hybrid identity theft, where Brenda Gonzalez found another Brenda Gonzalez, the victim on the bottom and used her social security number. So she provided her real driver license, you can see the difference and date of birth. And when we’re dealing with the dealerships. Obviously dealerships where they mainly look at when they pull a credit report, the score, that’s it, they don’t compare anything else. They want to ask questions- (Oh, do you want to add something?) And so it’s blatantly you can see the date of birth is totally off. But yet, they still were able to get her financed. A little unique thing on this one, though, during when we’re talking to finance manager, her boyfriend was a legit gangster had tattoos have horns on his head tattoos all over his face. So the finance managers was pretty much down as like, I pretty much knew this was bad, but I just want to hurry up and get them out of the dealership because I don’t want to deal with any kind of problems. And so and they purposely do that as well. And there’s some other tactics that some of the suspects use.
But we see this a lot, it’s a little bit more hybrid, versus the synthetic in California, when it comes to auto loans, the synthetic IDs are kind of going down. And we’re seeing a little bit more of like the old school identity theft, but it’s a little bit of hybrid because straw purchasers that are going in buying these vehicles are using a little bit of their legitimate information. Another case that we had, and the same thing is the suspects, they understand the system, they understand our side, and they also understand your side, they understand that a lot of these dealerships as well have, they do have that identity, identity software where they could see if they’re the identity or the driver license is legitimate or not. But they also know that some of the dealerships don’t spend the money on the high end software, they’ll just get the one just for California. So we’re currently seeing a lot of out of state driver’s license in California. I know most of that identity theft software is doesn’t cover Washington. So you’ll see a lot of fake Washington IDs as well.
But what the suspect did here is, that’s his real picture. And so were able to use the facial recognition software to to find out his true identity. And when he was doing a little bit quasi-identity theft, where you’re stealing other people’s information, as well as he was using synthetic ID and creating fake profiles. And he was buying a whole bunch of high-end motorcycles. But just kind of example, where they understand the system. And when we’re interviewing him, he works by himself. And he was kind of pissed off on how we identified him. And so we have to be careful in our reports, because we obviously we don’t want to teach the crooks and so we didn’t want to put in there how we identified them through the facial recognition software. And again, he was he’s like, no one ratted me out. I don’t work with anybody. I didn’t do anything. I would do everything by myself.
And so they’re constantly trying to learn they’re trying to figure out what we’re doing to combat this stuff. And then of course, they just change their tactics, which we’re all familiar with. I want to throw this one up here for the rental car, rental fraud trends is when we talk about the cartels. Obviously organized crimes involve street gangs are involved. Drug dealers are involved because they like to drive the high end cars. And that’s why they like they’re they’re attracted to the auto fraud. Same thing with outlaw motorcycle gangs, they figured out instead of stealing a Harley Davidson breaking it all down and building another Harley Davidson, they could just go out and do a fraud purchase on a brand new Harley Davidson and then all the again, the suspects main concerns are the repossession. They want to build to hang on to these cars long enough. And again, they change their tactics to where they’re able to do that as well from when a when it is a legit fraud purchase from the beginning.
So when it comes to the cartels, what we’re seeing a big uptake, and we’re seeing a lot of so such as a straw, renter, straw purchaser, straw renter, a lot of Hispanics and Romanians are involved in California. And what they’re doing is going to the airport because obviously the airports carry a lot of the high end rental rental vehicles that go to LAX or they’ll go to John Wayne, which is in Orange County. And they’re specifically targeting four by fours and SUVs, because that’s what the cartels like to drive down there. And so they’ll drive them straight down to the border, they’ll drop off the border, somebody else who gets paid will come up from Mexico, pick it up, and then drive it down south and then you’ll never see the vehicle again. And then on the flip side, what happens is the renter will go and file a police report saying that they were carjacked that they parked it on front of their driveway, and then the vehicles gone. And so we’ve seen a huge uptake on that.
As well, when when we’re dealing with Mexico and the cartels, the cartels are still more involved in VIN switching, they’re dabbling into the fraud, because when they have to register the vehicle to use on the title wash scheme to obtain title, and so they’re able to, you know, so that we can legitimately register it down in Mexico or wherever state they’re living in. But we’re still seeing that they haven’t really fully jumped into the whole fraud purchase aspect, it’s more of a VIN switching. And they’re very good at it because GM has a plant down in Mexico. So when it comes to VIN switching, they know how to build VINs, so they look legitimate, they know how to they know all the intricacies of security features on a GM vehicle because again at that plant down there, and they just pay off the workers and that’s how they learn.
Sgt. Darren Schlosser
Okay, so when talking with Frank about what we were going to discuss today, and it looks like we’re doing super fast on time compared to what our, our time slot is. So the artificial pay down this is where it’s really affecting y’alls world as well as the dealership world.
So last year, I saw where I probably had four times that a dealership would call and here’s the scenario: Somebody a real person has a vehicle, they’re either selling it off the streets to the dealership, or they’re trading in for something else. So the- let’s say the vehicle is a $50,000 vehicle. Just prior to taking that vehicle in there, they sent a $30,000 check and a $40,000 check to the finance company to do an artificial paydown. So now when the dealership checks, it shows a $10,000 payoff dealership, like cool, there’s a lot of equity in this car will buy it straight from you. So they’re gonna give the crook a, let’s say, on a $40,000 paydown that they’ve done. You know, of course dealerships gonna make the money on it. So they’re gonna give them $30,000 check for the equity they have in that vehicle. Now the problem is the dealership is relying on a lot of times an automated system that the finance companies have to look at the payoff on a vehicle. Well, at the time the finance company reflects $10,000.
They take the vehicle in, they hold it in their inventory while they prep it and they prepare to sell it. They don’t pay it off right away. They don’t send that money immediately whenever they see the $10,000 payoff. So later on, when they’re actually trying to tile it to the next customer, they go to send off the payment now it’s showing $50,000 again. That is the actual payoff.
Now, the crook got $30,000 But now the dealership has to pay off $50,000. So the dealerships, you know on the ticket for $80,000 because they gave 30,000 away and now they got to pay off the car for 50,000. So they get hit twice. Now, this is an opportunity. I want to talk with the auto industry here while y’all are all here. What is your typical procedure for somebody who does a big quick paydown on a vehicle? Is there is there any red flags that trip within your industry at the time?
Can anybody care to comment on that? So there’s no red flags. There’s Okay, go ahead please.
(Audience Member Talking)
Sgt. Darren Schlosser
So you’re saying they hold it for a period of time before they reflect it? Okay, that should be the actual way it’s done. So anytime that there’s a large payment made on a situation there should be automatic red flags that go off, the payment should hold, should not reflect on the account until the money actually clears the bank and it shows to be good. But apparently that’s not what’s happening. So I’ve last year, I had maybe four certain instances throughout the whole year, I’ve had six in the last month. So it’s a definite growing trend.
And here’s the thing, here’s the key, these people that are doing it, they don’t care, they got a $30,000 check in their pocket. So off, if it does become a criminal matter, or is brought to our attention, they’re not worried about it, because they’re gonna get a very light slap on the wrist for taking $30,000 worth of check on the situation, because it’s hard to prove. The other part of it is that they’re, for us to investigate, we now have to go through official processes of subpoena bank records, trying to get to prove that account never had the money in the first place. And then if we do prove that up, the DA’s office is still very hesitant to try to prosecute somebody who’s a real person. So that’s where we see Frank, it looks like you’re chomping at the bit.
Oh, no no. Just if there were questions, I have a microphone.
Sgt. Darren Schlosser
Oh, gotcha. Okay, I thought you’re gonna make a comment. So within y’alls industry, do you all see a rise in this? Or have y’all seen cases of this come across y’alls fraud world?
(Someone in audience responding)
Where they can get payoffs faster. It, I’ve heard of it in Florida, mainly. But you know, the fraudsters have figured us out. And, you know, the dealership wants to pay off whenever business hours are closed. And our system talks to the dealer track around one system, quotes a pay off. And it’s an automated type of process that kind of needs to have an interrupt in, in between there somewhere.
Sgt. Darren Schlosser
I agree. Definitely. There should be some more checks and balances in place for situations like that. But like I said, it’s something that was just alarming, because I mean, like I said, all of last year, I had four and I don’t know that there’s a link, I haven’t done any type of link analysis on the six that I’ve heard of in the last month. But there’s very possibly some sort of link.
And if it’s not an official link we can see, guaranteed it’s an informal link, where somebody’s talking about the scheme and how you can make money at selling your car back to a dealership. It’s just a- it’s a nightmare for the dealership is where it is the ultimate victim of it. Alright, let’s move on. VIN swapping. So, oh go ahead sir.
I need a clarification. So are you talking about large pay down or pay off?
Sgt. Darren Schlosser
Pay down not a pay off.
So if it’s a pay down, sorry, pay down, then we (that’s weird) we surely credit the account right away. But the check may bounce back in seven days.
Sgt. Darren Schlosser
That’s what I’m talking about, there needs to be something in place on a situation where there’s a large pay down on an account. Because they purposely don’t pay it off because they realize that’s a different process when you pay it off. So if you got a $50,000 vehicle and you pay down $40,000, leaving a $10,000 balance, typically y’all systems don’t catch that. And that’s what I was getting at is that there needs to be something in place where if there’s a certain dollar amount that is, you know, paid down towards a vehicle that it does not reflect for a certain, certain number of days, until you’re for sure that the account is credited.
(Audience Member speaking)
Sgt. Darren Schlosser
So those 10 $4,000 payments over what period of time would you see? Yeah, that I could see for sure.
Are you seeing this- I’m over here? Are you seeing this early on in the transaction? Or is it like months later, like a brand new purchase? And then they see the pay down happens? Or where are you seeing this?
Sgt. Darren Schlosser
So actually, I’ve seen it more towards you know, after it’s been established for a while, and I think what I think what’s happening with these people, is they’re realizing, okay, I have a $50,000 car, maybe I’m not making as much money as I want to make, you know, maybe I’m hurting for cash, okay?
So a lot of dealerships are buying cars off the streets. So they go in there to to buy this to sell their vehicle off for the ship, take it off their hands, so they purposely float a fraudulent check to the payoff so that it shows that artificial pay down. And then they get their check from there just walk off and now they’ve made $30,000. If you’re talking about somebody who doesn’t usually have two pennies to rub together, and now he’s got $30,000, he doesn’t care about the repercussions down the road,
We’ve built two red flags reports on payment activity, individual payment size, as well as threshold for multiple payments made like within a seven day period. And that’s how we’re tracking and because of exactly what Jodi said, with the dealertrack, Route, one, automated payoffs were based in Florida. So we see it periodically, we’ve had a couple situations, to your comment that the dealer is on the hook, a lot of time, it’s also the finance company, even though we’re passing that information, we’re also still on the hook trying to resolve the situation with them. So we’ve had a couple of times where we’ve negotiated with our dealer, that that information was passed to them, they understand how it happened. And then we try to resolve it. So we can continue doing business together.
Sgt. Darren Schlosser
Exactly. And so that’s a that’s a good point about keeping your dealer relations and, and so most of the time that I’ve seen it, it’s been the dealerships totally on the hook still, because the finance company just throws their hands up, say, hey, sorry, my bad. And they just move on.
And they just say, sorry, this is what the loan actual payoff is. And that’s what you’re gonna do. Hopefully, there is something like that, that where there’s a compromise of some sort, but still, there’s a victim, when it’s all said and done. And the chances that it gets brought to the attention given to law enforcement, fully investigated, fully charged, that’s one thing, but you’ll never see the money again, regardless.
If I could ask a follow up question? On the red flag report, how are you using it now? So if you get a big payment, do you not reflect it?
To Mickey’s point, on if it’s happening early on, or later on in the loan, it’s both in our experience. So sometimes we’ll see a new loan where the day after booking, they’ll make one payment right away. And then they see how that activity starts to work.
And then they might send a $5,000 check. And then they start sending a week later, $10,000. And then you start to combine all that stuff in. And so we tried to see if they’ll communicate with us, is the first thing. And then we tried to look into notes, just from a servicing perspective to see, are there dealers calling asking for payoffs? Things like that, and then we immediately follow up with them to find out what the situation is.
Sgt. Darren Schlosser
So real quick on that, when you’re talking multiple payments over an extended period of time, I don’t understand why that would be a good process to do fraud, because the check number one you did a week ago is going to bounce before check number three, four, five.
All within seven days, typically before and-
Sgt. Darren Schlosser
So what’s your turn around on identification, then then re-applying back onto the loan? How long is y’alls turn around from the time you find a fraudulent check, and then you reapply that balance back?
Soon as we get the communication back from the bank. So I mean, it would be same day at that point. So you know, we’ve also developed some templates. So if the customer isn’t picking up the phone, we’ll send them our wire instructions or ACH instructions, advise them payments of that amount need to be sent via confirmed payment methods, things like that, that we try to attempt to persuade as well.
Sgt. Darren Schlosser
Gotcha. Well, why don’t we move on to the VIN swapping aspect? And then we’ll kind of talk about that. So there’s two ways to talk about, there’s two ways to change the identity of a vehicle. Okay.
The first way that it used to be the most prevalent way is what we call VIN swapping. So in that scenario, there’s a vehicle that’s been catastrophically crashed. That type, that car has been in the impound lot, that somebody gets the VIN number off that vehicle, and then they come back and they create a what we call salvage title. So now that vehicles back on the road magically, because they’ve stolen a vehicle, they put those that VIN number on there to change that vehicle to look like the south of the crash vehicle. So now you’ve got that vehicle back on the road, when actually it’s covering and masking the fact it’s a stolen vehicle.
So the only downside that crooks see with the salvage title is that it actually takes that vehicle, even though it’s a legitimately rolling vehicle, and won’t ever be questioned that you know, under normal circumstances, problem is the value of that vehicle is dropped drastically because there’s a salvage title, right? So they don’t typically like to do that. But there’s usually only one vehicle in existence under that scenario.
Then you have what’s called a VIN clone. VIN clone typically goes like this. Vehicles that are in that are produced in Canada or sold in Canada, or Mexico. They may have been format as a vehicle here. But our registration systems don’t talk. So it’s very popular for Canadian vehicle that’s sold at a dealership in Canada to be a VIN clone here in the United States somewhere. So they obtain that vehicle. And there are numerous states that have easier methods of being able to get a new title. Some of them are like Oklahoma, Alabama, or two of the big ones that I know of that seem to they, when we have a title fraud type scenario, they link back to either Oklahoma, Alabama.
So we now have this new vehicle that’s been registered in there, that’s when we start to see it affecting the finance world. So if somebody knows that it’s a fraudulent vehicle, or fraudulent VIN, that’s from another area, then they get a loan out for that vehicle. And they never intend to pay for that loan for that vehicle. So we’ll see the VIN cloning from Canada and Mexico, where they buy the car, they get it financed, they never intend to pay it. And then finance company is left on the hook for that. So that’s when we see the VIN cloning to be a bad thing.
We also see and I’m sure you all seen where the fraudulent VINS are being used, particularly like credit unions, where it’s not a dealership that you can see the vehicle, the dealership is contacting you to tell you that the vehicle is for sale at this location, and we’re selling to this customer. But particularly in like credit unions that loan directly to the individuals and they’ll say, hey, look, this is the vehicle I want to buy. They finance the vehicle, they give them a check for that vehicle. Now all of a sudden, this person has cash in hand for a car that never existed, or that’s not actually for sale. So VIN plumbing can take the form of that whenever they’re pulling the VINs from another place like Canada.
All right. Very difficult. VIN cloning is in Dave’s gonna talk about this in a minute. VIN cloning is easy to do now, because used to be the public VIN as we call it, that’s on the dashboard used to be engraved used to be harder to produce. Now they look like stickers. So you just order stickers, there are sticker packages online, you can get the whole VIN set that nature sticker in the doors, the public VIN there any sticker that has a VIN number on it for that particular year make model manufacturers can send you a whole sticker package to basically put on the new car you want. I’ma Dave finish up we got less than five minutes, so I’ll let you have it.
Sgt. Dave Navarro
So what we have here is an example of VIN switched on a Mercedes and they’re just mylar labels. Suspects go buy high end printer off Amazon or any kind of website, they buy the mylar labels and they’re able to print everything out. And with the high with the high end cars like Mercedes BMWs, Bentley’s, Masertatis, that top VIN the top sticker is what the public VIN looks like, where if you look at a GM has barcode, Toyota has, you know, a little bit of Toyota behind and behind the VIN. And so they kind of change it up. And usually they’re metal, but with a lot of the high end vehicles, that’s how the VIN looks.
And so the suspects have figured out, okay, if I could just change the public VIN with the mylar label, the Federal label, which is on the driver’s side door, you just peel that off, and you put a new mylar label on there. Sometimes they’ll misspell words, that’s a big key. But a lot of times it looks pretty legit. And then of course with the high end printers, the barcode will scan several times. And then on Mercedes and BMW is they’ll have that VIN plate behind the weird license plate. And same thing that changed that.
Where we’re able to identify a lot of owners this was secondary VINS, hidden VINS that are either etched in certain parts of the frame or certain parts of the body of the vehicle. But for the most part, these are the three things they change. And then they’re able to manipulate like in a title, different ways that Darren just spoke about. And then they go and sell it on Craigslist, offer up, or they’re even brazen enough to where they’ll go trade into a dealership, dealership put on a lot, and then they’ll sell that vehicle with a new loan.
One question I have on charged off accounts, because what we’ve seen a lot now is the suspects understand how the system works. They understand that a lot of finance companies, when a vehicle is charged off, a lot of times they stop looking for it. And then one wolf will discover it about a year later. And what we’ve discovered several times up in the high desert, up in certain parts in LA County where there’ll be just a huge lot or huge warehouse with a whole bunch of high end cars that have been sitting there for about a year. And so what they do is they’ll fraud purchase vehicle, steal the vehicle, hide it for a year, and then they’ll bring it back after about a year and then they’ll go re register it at that time no red flags are up or if we identify it, we’ll start contacting the finance companies. A lot of times the finance companies just tell us, hey, it’s a charge off account. We don’t we have no interest in anymore. Is that down? Does any of your companies have interest in charge off accounts or is that pretty much across the board?
And so the suspects understand how the system works. We had a case recently with Lamborghini where it was a fraud purchase on the East Coast, (1 minute?, perfect) fraud purchase on the East Coast. They’ve VIN switched it to hide it for a year. And then after years up, they took off all the fake labels and they’re registered under the truth VIN. And then of course, at that time the bank wasn’t looking for anymore, and then just dismissed it. And now they got a free vehicle essentially.
Last thing real quick, oops, social norms. This gentleman was able to walk through a dealership back then like he’s on a cell phone. And what do we do when someone’s on the phone? We go try to get their attention. And they go, “Hey, I’m on the phone.” What do we do? Walk away, right? Okay. He’s able to walk through the dealership walk out the side gate, walk through the back where they store all the vehicles as the Mercedes dealership walk up and down inspecting vehicles, several employees kept hitting him up. And he just said him on the phone, they walk away and finally found a vehicle the keys and that’s on the bottom picture of him driving off the vehicle. And he did that to another Bentley dealership up in Thousand Oaks as well. And so it’s they understand the system, they understand how we work to understand social norms, and they take advantage of a lot of that different things. I think that’s it. Here’s Darren’s information.
Sgt. Darren Schlosser
Alright so, if you’d like pull out your cameras take a picture of this. I’m definitely available as much as I can be, think (Kat) knows I’m available for pretty much any time that I can. Please do that and then when everybody looks like they’ve taken the picture they want to take we’re going to get Dave’s up there. There we go, so any quick questions before we move on? We’re going to do some Roundtable but anything in particular?
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Sgt. Darren Schlosser
Yes, ok so go back to my- oh, here we go. Ok, so on this here, I’m glad Frank brought that up. In Houston we take a kind of a unique approach. We work extremely close with the dealership industry and we send out dealer alerts. So I’m very fortunate that in the Southeast United States pretty much we’re the only dedicated vehicle fraud unit that I’m aware of. Just two of us do nothing but dealership cases involving vehicles. So subsequently we created a dealer alert, I think we’re up to 320 different dealer alerts we’ve sent out. But that’s sending out information about crooks that we have, fake IDs we have, arrested people we have, I have tons of great stuff I wish I could do the hour-and-a-half long presentation.
Yeah a lot of these that you send, we see a lot happening across the consortium. So, you can get these and just look for them because they’re active identity theft. Thank you.