NICB Criticizes YouTube Over Vehicle Thefts

By Staff Writer January 22, 2023

Thefts of Kia and Hyundai automobiles increased dramatically across the United States in 2022, and insurance industry associations say misuse of social media platforms, like YouTube, by individuals and criminal organizations are contributing to the spike in illegal activity.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau, Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, and International Association of Special Investigation Units sent a joint letter to YouTube Chief Executive Officer Susan Wojcicki requesting the social media platform remove “how to” videos that provide detailed instructions for stealing Kia and Hyundai automobiles.

“Everyday consumers are being victimized by criminals using social media platforms to learn their newest illegal tricks and techniques,” said David Glawe, president and CEO of the National Insurance Crime Bureau. “Some platforms are not doing enough to protect innocent victims from unnecessary harm.”

Since these tutorial-type videos started appearing on YouTube, TikTok, and other social media platforms, many police departments across the U.S. have reported drastic increases in Kia and Hyundai thefts, including in:

  • Chicago: 601 Kia and Hyundai vehicles were stolen in August 2022, compared to just 58 in August 2021, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Department.
  • Los Angeles: An 85% increase in Kia and Hyundai thefts were committed in 2022 compared to 2021, according to Los Angeles police officials.
  • St. Louis: 48% of the 3,970 motor vehicles reported stolen in 2022 (through August) were Kia and Hyundai models, compared with only 7% of the total vehicles stolen in 2021, according to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
  • Milwaukee (where the original video was filmed): Two-thirds of the 5,144 vehicles stolen in 2021 (through July) were Kia and Hyundai models.

“Enabling criminals to share the tools and techniques of their trade through posting videos online adversely impacts all consumers,” said Celeste Dodson, President of the International Association of Special Investigation Units.

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Last modified on Friday, 27 January 2023 14:07