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Car Dealership Credit Report Scams and the Patriot Act

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited July 2015 in General
imageCar Dealership Credit Report Scams and the Patriot Act

Know your rights and don't let the car salesman run your credit report without your permission — not even in the name of patriotism.

Read the full story here


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    restmrestm Member Posts: 1
    Glad I read this article.

    This happened to me yesterday. I CLEARLY mentioned I do not need dealer finance, but he still pursued me to agree for a credit check. I thought it was a norm. He said this will help me!

    But nope, all that it did was reject the "finance application" which I did not need, and lower my credit score.

    Too disappointed with this vulture-culture.
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    mbrsitmbrsit Member Posts: 1
    Only cashier’s checks, bank drafts, traveler’s checks, and money orders with a face value of $10,000 or less are considered "cash".

    See http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Workbook-on-Reporting-Cash-Payments-of-Over-$10,000.
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    gulliblegramgulliblegram Member Posts: 1
    I bought a 2014 Prius V Five from a Maryland dealer last week. I traded in my 2008 RAV4 and wrote a personal check for $18,500. I can only surmise that, because the bank was closed that they ran a credit report AND A CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK! When I questioned it, the sales mgr said that it was required by the Patriot Act. I have done some research since that time and it all points to this NOT being required by the Patriot Act. Perhaps it was necessary to verify my identity, although, having run the credit report, they had already found an excellent credit rating, and had my driver's license info. They still insisted on doing the background check.
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    oakman1oakman1 Member Posts: 1
    Today I went by El Dorado Mazda/Chevrolet dealership in McKinney, Tx. I first was asked for my driver's license so i coulld test drive the car. I told the sales person I was going to test drive the vehicle with him and why would he need my DL. Salesman replied so he can put it in the system. I replied that if whe reached a deal I would supply the DL. We reached a deal and the salesman approches me with a "Patriot Act" form that he wants me to fill out. He ask if I was familiar with the act and said: we run a credit check to verify your identity as per the act". I told them I had a valid driver's license as ID and that I was not financing the $5.000 difference between my trade and the new vehicle.
    They insisted that the dealership needs to my verify identity. I took my keys back and walked out.
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    crenthusiastcrenthusiast Member Posts: 1
    My husband went to a car dealer and was presented with them running a credit check even though we were paying cash. Due to extenuating circumstances we fell behind on a few bill which gave us less than stellar credit. The dealer called my husband and refused to sell him the car because we did not have good enough credit. I will tell you that those bills had been caught up on prior to the purchase of this car. The credit bureau just hadn't received the information. Needless to say we went to a different dealer that was happy to have our business.
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    thom1961thom1961 Member Posts: 1
    This article is the biggest bunch of crap and just goes to show the incredible bias of Edmunds.com, Hello Edmunds! Without the the car business you wouldn't be in business. a dealership has a right to protect itself against fraud stop spreading malicious and incorrect information.
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    chrisf0047chrisf0047 Member Posts: 1
    This has happened to me twice in the past two years. On both occasions I paid cash (in excess of $10K). I did not notice the impact on my credit report until after I bought a second car. I went round and round with Experian and got nowhere. I went to both dealers and got the same runaround. Subsequently, using Google, I have found numerous instances of this occurring. Regardless of why, this has caused two hard credit inquiries on my credit report which has negatively impacted my FICO score.
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    fredbytefredbyte Member Posts: 1
    Hmm, my wife and I just bought a 2017 Subaru Outback. I let the salesman copy my driver's license before the test drive. When we were interested, he put a form in front of both of us asking for our social security numbers, because of the Patriot Act, he said. I refused. My wife didn't mind giving out her SSN. The salesman said the title would be only in her name. I said okay. Then, two days later, we were sitting down to pay cash via personal check. The finance officer came and said she could put my name on the title and that I didn't need to give my social security number. "Great!" I said. They still pulled a credit report on my wife. They all say it's because of the Patriot Act. I said, the only way I'm giving out my SSN is if you are paying me. As others have said, they have other ways of verifying your identity. So, don't fall for that Patriot Act BS and don't give out your SSN.
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    SavvyMeSavvyMe Member Posts: 1
    Just bought a car yesterday where they said that for “OFAC” they needed to run my credit. I said no. I work in the financial industry and am very aware what you need for OFAC you do not need my credit. I had a pre approved bank draft - certified funds so you do not need my SSN that is only for “cash” transactions to file a CTR. It took about half an hour of me educating both the sales person and the finance manager before they said they’ll see what they can do to approve. I was ready to walk out. They tried everything to run my credit, I feel bad for people who do not work in the financial industry they made it seem as matter of fact but I educate people on this daily and know it is not required.
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    KJ_White148637KJ_White148637 Member Posts: 1
    "Oddly, a personal check does not qualify as cash, according to the IRS form's instructions".

    Actually, it's not so odd. The other forms of payment are such that it is not possible to trace their source of funds. Since a personal check flows through an account with associated identification, there is tracing built in.
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