MRAA alerts dealers about identity theft program

OAK PARK, ILL. – The Marine Retailers Association of America distributed a “Dealer Alert” message yesterday regarding new rules finalized by the Bush Administrations that create the Identity Theft Prevention Program.

The program establishes policies to identify and respond to “red flags” that could signal identity theft. It is a result of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003. Implementation of the new rule, which was set to go into effect on Nov. 1, has been extended to May 1, 2009 and applies to small businesses like boat dealers, who extend credit to customers.

Boat dealers, as users of consumer credit reports, must implement appropriate procedures to detect, and will have to report any address discrepancy to a consumer reporting agency. Financial institutions are responsible for developing and implementing an appropriate program, MRAA said.

Examiners may schedule visits to boat dealerships and levy fines or sanctions if the dealers have failed to implement a program; but if the dealership has demonstrated a good faith effort to complete a program, leniency may be given.

MRAA believes most banking organizations have developed appropriate forms and recommends dealers contact their banks, but MRAA has also researched potential sources of program compliance and web-sites, as a source of written forms. Please look at www.autoadvisory.com and www.carlaw.com for more information.

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