Preventing Conversion Theft
Every year Western Financial Group Insurance Solutions receives a number of equipment theft from rental dealers, often for the purpose of conversion. Theft by conversion is a fraudulent act where a person uses false information or identification to defraud another person of his/her property for the purposes of obtaining and/or disposing of this property. Conversion results in the immediate loss of inventory and can have effects on your ongoing booking schedule. Fortunately there are steps that can be taken to reduce the incidence of theft by conversion at your rental outlet.
How does conversion occur?
In order to prevent conversion from happening, it is important to understand how theft by conversion occurs. A typical conversion follows these steps:
• An unknown individual phones and requests equipment, such as a loader, be delivered to an address.
• The dealer takes a deposit on a credit card over the phone.
• Delivery is made within hours to an individual(s) at a new development or in a vacant field.
• The billing address was the development or the vacant field location.
• No verification of the credit card was done.
• No copy of a valid driver’s license or number was obtained.
• There is no signed rental agreement.
• The individual then sells, trades or uses the equipment for personal gain.
How to Prevent Conversion Theft
In order to reduce your risk for conversion it is important to implement strict policies when renting equipment to individuals. These policies should include requirements for multiple forms of identification in order to verify the identity of the individual(s) looking to rent your equipment. It is important to ensure that every individual looking to rent a piece of equipment has given the following information:
1. A signed, valid rental agreement
2. Customer’s valid driver’s license and an imprint of, processed electronic credit card transaction of a major credit card
By following proper procedures and policies when renting out equipment you can reduce the chances for losses from conversion theft.
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