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    Business or Commercial Identity Theft

    According to the FBI, business or commercial identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the US. Each year, thousands of businesses are victimized throughout America. This type of identity theft is quite different from personal identity theft. While personal identity theft can be limited to victimizing an individual, corporate identity theft can leave an entire commercial enterprise devastated. When it involves a company, identity theft can profoundly affect the lives of each and every employee and their families.

    Business identity theft, also referred to as corporate/commercial identity theft, occurs when a thief uses the identity of a business to apply for lines of credit or even loans from a bank. Credit lines are used to purchase items, while the money from procured from loans is a source of ready cash. This kind of activity can causelots of people to losetheir jobs, not because the business cannot recover the losses, but because even a temporary loss of credit and ready cash can cause operational problems. This institutes a very difficult recovery path even for well-established companies.

    How to Protect Your Business Identity?

    In order to protect your company from identity theft, you have to have a plan formulated and ready to be put into action. It is highly recommended to have your employees 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 your staff is aware and able to follow that policy word to word. Secure all sensitive information, including corporate records and personnel files, with strong passwords. Store all written files under lock and key. Have impeccable online security policies and be sure anyone with access to the company’s sensitive information online follows them. For optimal security, it is best to have your business recorded with the Secretary of State.

    Prevent and Detect Corporate Identity Theft

    Only having a plan in place will never do any good if you don’t go through with it and make sure your staff follows it to the tee. Even if a single person fails to follow the protocol you have developed to keep your company secure, it can createa gap in your security and make you vulnerable to identity theft. That is why many people are taking advantage of the expertise offered bybusiness identity theft services.

    Available Resources

    If you are a victim of corporate identity theft, please contact your bank and credit card companies immediately. To report your issues to the business fraud department, call:

    • Dun and Bradstreet: 1-800-234-3867
    • Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
    • Experian: 1-888-397-3742
    • TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289

    Have the department put a Fraud alert to instruct creditors to get approval before issuing additional credit to your business account.

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    Pertinent information to keep you and your staff alert:

    There are many types of identity theft.

    • Even after all the security put in place, corporate identity theft can still occur. To minimize the effects, there are a number of steps you should take. These include:
    • Comparing your company EIN to the EIN of identity thieves, and informing this to each credit reporting agency. Also, file a report with local police and your state Attorney General
    • Notifying all creditors that your business has been victimized
    • Filing any necessary Statements of Correction with the State Attorney General
    • Meticulously documenting relevant conversations and communications; this includes names, departments, etc.
    • Continuously monitoring your credit report
    • Making sure that all credit reporting agencies and creditors have gotten everything they have requested. If possible, send everything in registered mail.

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      Although many people think that identity theft, particularly identity theft on a corporate level, occurs online, it is not only limited to the internet. In fact, many of these thefts result from mishandled information, records, or mail. Do not hesitate to take advantage of the easy, no obligation information and online tools provided here at Legal-Yogi if you need more information. Start protecting your business today!