A recent case in St. Louis involving the theft of 19 rental cars valued at over $1 million has shed light on the critical importance of robust identity verification and driver verification systems. The Department of Justice (DoJ) recently indicted eight individuals between the ages of 32 to 39, alleging their involvement in an elaborate identity fraud scheme that targeted a company referred to as "Business E.H." The indictment highlights the need for enhanced security measures including identity verification to prevent such incidents.
Fraudulent documents used to make rental reservations
The accused individuals reportedly engaged in a sophisticated modus operandi, which revolved around stealing rental cars using stolen credit card information and falsified identities. They would reserve vehicles from "Business E.H." using fraudulent details, and then proceed to collect these cars using counterfeit documents and fabricated credit cards. The stolen vehicles, including upscale models like the BMW X7, GMC Yukon, and Chevrolet Suburban, were valued at over $1.1 million collectively.
Group leader planned travel across the US for thefts
One of the key figures implicated in the case is Tyrell Oliver, alleged to be the orchestrator behind the operation. Oliver was responsible for making reservations and compensating co-conspirators for retrieving the stolen vehicles. The group's operations extended beyond St. Louis, as they would fly to various airports across the eastern US and Midwest to carry out their illicit activities.
The growing problem of identity fraud
The St. Louis case serves as a stark reminder of the broader issue of stolen identities and their rampant misuse by criminals. Jay Greenberg from the FBI St. Louis Division remarked that this instance is just the tip of the iceberg in illustrating how stolen identities can be employed for nefarious purposes. Criminals can effortlessly acquire personal and credit card information at a low cost on the dark web, further emphasizing the need for heightened security measures to protect innocent individuals from being falsely accused of crimes committed under stolen identities.
Identity and driver verification can prevent rental thefts
The theft of rental cars in St. Louis underscores the crucial role that robust identity and driver verification mechanisms play in safeguarding businesses and individuals alike. Implementing stringent verification processes can significantly mitigate the risk of identity fraud and subsequent criminal activities. Document verification checks for signs of fraud, and biometric verification uses the power of AI to check that the applicant is a real person and the genuine owner of the document they’re presenting. Businesses, especially those in the car rental industry, must invest in advanced authentication technologies to ensure that only authorized individuals are granted access to valuable assets.
The Onfido Real Identity Platform builds trust by giving businesses a custom blend of verification checks to meet their individual needs, orchestrated by a no-code workflow builder, Onfido Studio. Onfido is trusted by over 900 businesses around the world to offer fair, fast and accurate identity verification, helping protect against fraud and losses.