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The Resource Center Credit Fraud & Credit Monitoring | article

Tips to Stay Safe from Identity Theft when Buying a New Car

When you make major purchases on a home or an automobile that require you to take out a major loan, the credit reporting agencies will begin keeping track of how well you stay on top of payments. Not only will your payment history be visible on these reports, but so will suspicious activity that could mean you have become the victim of identity theft.

To finance a major new purchase like that of an automobile, you’ll have to exchange a lot of personal identification information that, if compromised by a thief, could be used for fraudulent activity. Any document you have to sign, for instance, gives a thief a copy of your signature, while lenders will need data like your date of birth, driver's license number and maybe even your Social Security number to process a loan.

All of that information is valuable to a thief, and often there is no knowing who is or isn’t an identity thief in such high stakes situations as purchasing a new car. While credit reporting bureaus will list some of the financial activity that takes place in your name on this document, it’s up to you to to monitor these reports and take action if your identity is compromised.

Be wary about purchasing a new car from a non-licensed dealer. While you are better off shopping from a dealer with a great reputation than an individual selling their used car privately, even inside jobs can be committed at a respectable company where databases are kept holding customer information.

Shop carefully and look and stay on top of documents from credit reporting agencies  so if signs of identity theft appear you can take the proper steps to alleviate it as quickly as possible.