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FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network The Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN) is a secure online database of millions of consumer complaints available only to law enforcement. The Federal Trade Commission’s law enforcement partners – whether they are down the street, across the nation or around the world – can use information in the database to enhance and coordinate investigations. The CSN began in 1997 to collect fraud and identity theft complaints and now includes more than 7 million complaints. Identity theft was No. 1 among the 30 complaint categories on the Consumer Sentinel Network in 2011 with 15 percent of the total complaints. Auto-related complaints made up 4 percent of the complaints. Sixty percent of all fraud-related complaints included reports of how the initial contact was made. Of those, 43 percent said initial contact was made by email and another 13 percent said it was done through an Internet website. The most common form of reported identity theft was government documents/benefits fraud. Auto dealers can help curtail identity theft by having their Red Flags policy in place as well as complying with the Safeguards and Privacy Rule policies. For further breakdown of information, visit and click on “Reports.” Consumer Sentinel Network Complaint Categories, 2011

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PayNearMe, the cash transaction network, has launched PayNearMe Lending, a cash payment system for subprime lenders, and has teamed with Westlake Financial Services to integrate PayNearMe’s technology into existing systems, enabling customers to repay retail installment contracts in cash 24/7 at any of 6,600 participating 7-Eleven® stores nationwide. Using PayNearMe, customers of Westlake’s network of more than 15,000 new and used car dealers will be able to make account payments in cash at their local 7-Eleven store, where a unique loan barcode or PayNearMe Card is scanned at the register. With PayNearMe, the transactions are completed instantly, and consumers’ accounts are credited instantly. “PayNearMe offers a remarkably simple way to make our collections process more efficient,” Westlake director of operations John Mason said. “We anticipate reduced operational costs while adding payment locations for our customers.” “Subprime lenders need to make cash payments as easy as possible for themselves and their consumers,” PayNearMe CEO Danny Shader said. “We’ve dramatically changed how cash payments are made by opening up thousands of additional payment locations, accessible any time they are needed.” PayNearMe Lending, a secure hosted web application, provides a comprehensive turnkey service lenders can use to accept cash payments without integration. Lenders can set up PayNearMe Lending in less than 15 minutes and start collecting immediately, and can add additional sites almost instantly. Because PayNearMe Lending does not require any integration with existing systems, it can be used by lenders of any size. “We appreciate that PayNearMe allows our customers to make payments at any time,” Tidalwave Finance Corp. president Ted Beresford said. “In fact, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many customers make their payments at 10 p.m.”



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9/20/12 11:38 AM

IIADA Street Smart Oct/Nov 2012  

Iowa Independent Automobile Dealers Association for October/Novemer 2012