Being a member of the British Vehicle Rental and Licensing Agency, here at Priory we often receive updates from the industry along with security alerts to ensure we are kept abreast of the most recent information to hand, therefore keeping us and most importantly our customers aware of anything which may impact our company or their ability to hire.
Here are just a couple of recent updates which we have been provided with recently which will hopefully provide our customers and other fellow hire companies with much needed information:
1. Fake Key Drop Boxes
The BVRLA has received reports that thieves are using fake key return boxes in order to acquire the keys for out-of-hours drop-offs. Predominately operating in the south of England at the moment, there is some concern that the practice may spread northwards. This is a timely reminder for members operating un-attended vehicle return facilities that they should regularly check all customer signage (Has it been removed? Tampered with? Giving inaccurate advice to your out of hours customers?) and return key security arrangements made with airport information desks/other reception staff.
2. Parts thefts in Yorkshire
Members within the Yorkshire area have reported several thefts of parts from vehicles parked in their yards. Stolen parts include wheels, light fittings and mirror glass for Transit vans, Range Rovers, Land Rovers and Mitsubishi Warriors. Members should be mindful of the levels of security (e.g. perimeter access, lighting, alarms etc.) in both their rental compounds and those of their customers in order to help prevent such losses.
3. Counterfeit Gas Bills and Fraudulent Renters – SW London
In a previous bulletin, the BVRLA brought to our attention a series of vehicle thefts using fraudulent utility bills. Members in south west London were targeted by an organised gang of thieves using false or cloned IDs and fake gas utility bills. Several of the vehicles were subsequently advertised for sale in Autotrader and on Gumtree but have now been recovered, with arrests made. The details of the identities used have been added to the RISC database but members should be aware of details of the scam and advise operations staff to be on their guard when one or more of the following features are present:
- Missing counterpart: a customer only has the photocard, not the counterpart of the driver licence despite being advised they needed both parts of driver licence at time of booking.
- Verifying age and date of birth: fraudsters often do not know the date of birth on the counterfeit or stolen licence. Always advise staff to ask and never simply copy it onto the rental documentation. Encourage staff to ‘do the maths’ – how old is the would-be renter? And does he/she look that age?
Customers’ recent utility bills are routinely taken as additional proofs of address in the customer qualification process. This is not always a reliable procedure. A BVRLA member drew our attention to a website which offers for sale templates of so-called “novelty” utility bills, bank statements etc. – these apparently are of the “same quality as the original documents”.