You need to know how your personal information is shared when buying a car. Stay informed and help keep your private information safe.
Buying a car can be an exciting time. You are buzzing with joy when you start searching online and looking at dealerships.
With each car that you look at you feel more and more eager to find the right one. But don’t get too excited just yet, because there’s something you need to know. Something that the dealerships and online services won’t tell you upfront that could seriously affect your privacy.
You may think that your personal information is safe when buying a car, but it’s not always the case. Car dealerships and online car-shopping companies are sharing your private information. And you need to be aware of it if you want to stay protected.
This is a serious issue, but one that isn’t talked about all that often. You won't find a ton of information about it online and you certainly won't hear any warnings from the companies themselves.
But your personal information is being shared, sold and leveraged against you for the company’s benefit, and it can leave you vulnerable to unwanted solicitations and even identity theft or fraud.
Your private information is being shared with multiple people and companies on multiple platforms.
How Your Information is Shared
When you enter your personal information on a car-shopping website or provide it directly to a dealership, that information is shared in a number of different ways and with several parties. Even if it’s just your basic contact information, it is shared widely for their benefit.
Did you know that car-shopping websites and dealerships share your information with others in the surrounding area?
This could be with other dealerships but most likely they are sharing that information with 3rd party companies such as:
- Warranty companies
- Insurance companies
- Financing companies
These 3rd party companies will use your information to send you solicitations and try to get you to purchase their products or services. Once they have access to your private information, you are at risk.
Your information is shared so that others can benefit and make a profit from you, whether or not you purchase a car from them. Once they share that information, it puts you at risk for receiving unwanted solicitations and makes your private information vulnerable to theft and fraud.
They are selling your information in order to make a financial gain off of it. Your information is valuable to them because they can offer it to other companies that want access to people who are in the market for a car and may be potential customers for their services or products.
Not only do they share your basic information, but they can also gain access to more private information such as your Social Security Number, date of birth and more. They have the resources to be able to see if you purchased a car and then access your private information from that.
Even when you are registering a car with the state, your information can be sold to 3rd parties that could profit from that information. It’s kind of scary how easily your personal information can be shared and sold.
Why You Need to Know
When dealers and car-shopping websites share your information like this, it makes you vulnerable. You are at risk for receiving unwanted solicitations from other car dealerships and 3rd party companies, and most importantly you’re also at risk from a security standpoint.
Let’s say you share your contact information with a car-shopping website. That information is shared and sold to other companies in a surrounding radius from where you live. This means that those companies can contact you with solicitations and harassments about buying a car or service from them.
That same contact information is also sold to 3rd parties, like warranty and financing companies. Now those companies know that you are in the market for a car and could potentially purchase their service. They will start sending you even more solicitations about their services and how they can help you buy a car.
But it’s not just the solicitations that you should be concerned with. Your private information is being shared with multiple people and companies on multiple platforms. This opens you up to a security risk. If the security system is somehow compromised on one of those platforms or your information gets into the wrong hands, your private information could be up for grabs and you could potentially have your identity stolen.
How to Prevent It
If you are using a car dealership or car-shopping website to purchase a car, there may be no real way for you to prevent your information being shared.
Because you can’t control how they will use your information, you need to be very cautious when giving it out. A few things you can do are:
- Be stingy with your information. If you’re just starting to look for a car, there’s no need to give your information out right off the bat.
- Do some digging. Look into the dealership or website and try to find out if they can be trusted or not.
It may not be easy to find out if a dealership or website will share your information. But there are some services out there that will respect your privacy.
For example, here at Request Your Car, your security is of vital importance to us. Because we work with dealers that we know and trust, we will never share your private information with them.
We have built relationships with only the best dealers so you don’t have to worry about your information being passed around with everyone on the block. We're an online car buying service that will work on your behalf!
Be cautious when you’re giving out your information at car dealerships and online. Now that you know how your information is being shared, protect your privacy and your sanity.
Remember that there is a lot that car dealerships and online companies won't tell you, and ultimately they’re looking out for their own interests, not yours. You don’t want to end up with endless unwanted solicitations, 3rd parties trying to get your information, or worse your identity being compromised.