With Kia and Hyundai Thefts Spiking, Insurance Industry Associations Encourage YouTube To Remove 'How To' Videos

Industry Leaders Say YouTube Is Not Doing Enough To Stop Misuse Of Platform 

DES PLAINES, Ill., Jan. 19, 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.

“Insurance fraud is the crime we all pay for. Posting of videos such as these harms American consumers by increasing auto thefts and driving up higher premiums. It is time for practices such as these to stop. We can all play a part in fighting insurance crime,” said Matthew Smith, Executive Director of the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.

“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. “When a vehicle is stolen, it is often not the end of the crime but the beginning. Vehicle thefts are associated with a multitude of criminal activity, including insurance fraud. The cost of these crimes is then passed on to consumers through higher premiums.”

In the letter to YouTube, industry leaders acknowledge that other social media platforms, including TikTok, need to do more to prevent these types of videos from being shared.  However, YouTube has failed to remove many of these videos from its own platform.

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About the National Insurance Crime Bureau: Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., the NICB is the nation's leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to combatting and preventing insurance crime through Intelligence, Analytics, and Operations; Education and Crime Prevention; and Strategy, Policy, and Advocacy. The NICB is supported by more than 1,200 property-casualty insurers, self-insureds, rental car, vehicle finance, and auto auctions. To learn more, visit www.nicb.org.