CARY, N.C. -

This summer, Experian and Credit Bureau Connection (CBC) had the chance to celebrate for a few moments about how their collaboration helped to stop a southern California fraud ring.

After a few handshakes, leaders of both companies told Auto Fin Journal during a recent phone conversation that their work is far from being completed and that ongoing collaboration would be crucial to notching more anti-fraud victories.

First, here’s a brief recap of what happened.

CBC indicated an individual attempted to purchase a luxury vehicle from a southern California dealership. During the process, CBC’s solution alerted dealership personnel of a potential threat. The information delivered then was shared with local authorities, and the thief was arrested.

The company said this development eventually led to the arrest of another individual linked to the same theft ring.

“Of course, it’s always satisfying to score a win for the good guys,” Credit Bureau Connection chief operating officer Darin Larsen said. “As a provider of these ID verification products and tools to our auto dealer clients, we’re obviously not always made aware of the instances or situations when our products and services can actually prevent fraud or theft. A lot of times on the prevention side, it is preventative so it doesn’t go much further than that.

“But in this case, it was obviously very rewarding in that we got the actual feedback from the customer and it reaffirmed that our products and services are truly performing as we expect to help our customers. We also know that the synthetic ID fraud situation is happening more and more frequently. This reaffirms our product and our position in the marketplace to start dealers with that type of solution,” Larsen continued.

Experian’s data and technology provide some of the fuel for CBC’s solution to function. Chris Ryan, Experian’s senior fraud solutions consultant, shared what this summer’s development meant to his team.

“From a prevention standpoint, often it’s hard to see the outcome of indicating when there’s risk,” Ryan said. “Obviously, we build these tools based on historical data to predict things that we’ve known in the past that have gone bad. But in use most of the time, you’re trying to stop these things before they happen. And as a result, it’s not often that you get to see this sort of live kind of validation that really was someone with ill intent, and they were really perpetrating the kind of the kind of crime we were trying to prevent.

“It’s incredibly satisfying to have partners like Credit Bureau Connection that helped us put these products in the market. It just it makes us feel good about what we’re doing and our mission and experience and to know that there’s real value for people stopping real crimes from happening,” Ryan went on to say.

In order for more victories like this one, both Experian and CBC emphasized that their collaboration must continue, and other segments and participants in the auto-finance industry have to join forces, too.

“Obviously, the collaboration effort is more important than ever,” Larsen said. “The bad actors and fraudsters are becoming more and more sophisticated, and it really takes a completely collaborative effort not only from, in this case, the data provider Experian, that has the horsepower behind the data and coupled with our solution but even at the auto dealer level, and the auto finance company level, to make sure they’re trained, they’re up to speed, they have processes in place to not only recognize when these alerts that the software and the data are providing them to be able to handle those properly and to deal with them properly.

“It really is a completely collaborative effort between the service providers, the auto dealers, the data providers and everybody in the chain,” he added.

Ryan chimed in saying, “The bad guys are certainly collaborating.

“There’s sort of two there’s sort of two levels of this type of crime,” he continued. “One is the person who figures out how to create a synthetic identity or monetize a synthetic identity. And they’re doing that for their own short-term financial gain. But there’s a whole black market, if you will, where the secret to how to do that is something that’s monetized as well.

“A bad guy that figures out how to commit this type of crime isn’t just profiting off the crime,” Ryan went on to say. “They’re profiting off the knowledge of how to commit the crime and they’re collaborating and sharing that type of information on their side. So it’s critically important that industry responds in kind and share what’s working on our side and share those defenses because this certainly isn’t the last time we’re going to see someone attempting to do this.”