It takes less than a minute and three pieces of information for a smooth-talking thief to pull off a security breach involving car dealerships’ customer information.

So says John Pappanastos, CEO and president of EFG Companies, a provider of F&I products and services.

He calls on “all participants in the retail automotive chain to lock down their data.” That includes dealers and their software vendors.

In the cited ruse, a shady character will obtain information such as a dealership customer’s name, address and phone number, and then, impersonating a dealership employee, call the consumer.

“They will say something such as, ‘We have a problem, and need to run your down payment again,’” Pappanastos tells WardsAuto. “The customer says, ‘Sure,’ and provides credit-card information” and potentially more.

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