The federal government's Red Flags Rule mandates that auto dealers, banks, credit unions and other "creditors" and "financial institutions" take additional steps to prevent identity theft and fraud, beginning Jan. 1. Included in the list of so-called creditors is your family doctor.
Among those steps is determining whether a person applying for financing - or even paying cash for a car - appears on any government watch lists of known or suspected terrorists or terrorist organizations.
As a result, consumers hoping to finance a new or used car, a home or even a major appliance will be required to supply personal information - such as their Social Security number and birth date, as well as the answers to five questions designed to confirm a customer is who they say they are - to the business at the time of the sale. Those questions could include anything from previous addresses and area codes to the names of other members of the consumer's household.
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