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Business or Commercial Identity Theft
Personal and business Identity theft are the fastest growing crime in the US according to the FBI. Thousands of people and businesses are victimized every year. Corporate identity theft is quite different from personal identity theft. While personal identity theft can be devastating to individuals, corporate identity theft can devastate an entire commercial enterprise. When it comes to a company, identity theft can have a profound effect on the lives of everyone who was employed there and their families as well. Business (also know as corporate or commercial) identity theft occurs when an identity thief uses the identity of a business to apply for lines of credit or even loans from a bank. The lines of credit are used to purchase items and the money from loans is a source of ready cash. This kind of activity can Corporate identity fraud causes lost jobs every year, not because the business cannot recoup the losses, but because even a temporary loss of credit and ready cash can cause operational problems that institutes a very difficult recovery even for well established companies.
There are several steps you can take to safeguard the identity of your business, Including:
- Steps to Protect Your Business Identity and Lessen the Impact on Your Business
- Steps to take to Prevent and Detect Corporate Identity Theft
- Information for Victims of Commercial Identity Theft
Steps to Take to Protect Your Business Identity
Have a plan formulated and ready to go in regards to corporate identity fraud. Have an employee trained to have a high degree of expertise when it comes to knowing what to do, not only to prevent business ID theft, but also what to do in the event it occurs. Have a security policy in place and make sure all the staff is aware of it and able to follow that policy to the letter. Password all sensitive information including corporate records and personnel files. Have written files stored under lock and key. Have good online security policies and be sure anyone with access to sensitive information online follows it. You should have your business recorded with the Secretary of State.
Steps to take to Prevent and Detect Corporate Identity Theft
Having a plan in place will never do any good if you don’t implement it. Even one person failing to follow protocol you have developed to keep your company secure, leaves a gap in your security and makes you vulnerable to identity theft. More and more people are taking advantage of the expertise of Business identity theft protection services.
Resources Available if You are a Victim of Commercial Identity Theft
If you are a victim of commercial identity Theft, contact your bank and credit card companies immediately. Report all issues and speak to the business fraud department at:
- Dun and Bradstreet: 1-800-234-3867
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
Have them put a Fraud alert to instruct creditors to get approval before issuing additional credit.
Also gather and make a file of as much pertinent information as you can. This should include:
There are many types of identity theft. What immediately comes to mind for most people is financial identity theft.
- Compare your company EIN to the EIN of identity thieves, and report it to each credit reporting agency. File a report with local police and your state Attorney General
- Contact all creditors with notification your business has been victimized.
- File any necessary Statements of Correction with the State Attorney General
- Meticulously document relevant conversations and communications including names, departments, etc.
- Continuously monitor your credit report
- Follow up to be certain all credit reporting agencies and creditors have gotten everything they have requested. Whenever possible send everything registered mail.
Many people think that identity theft, particularly identity theft on a corporate level, occurs online. Most of it does not and is a result of mishandling information, records or mail. If you need more information, do not hesitate to take advantage of the easy, no obligation information and online tools provided here at Legal-Yogi, and start protecting your business today.