Is Your Company Taking Steps to Protect Against Business Identity Theft

Most people are aware that personal identity theft occurs frequently. More than 9 million individuals are affected by it each year. However, many folks never think about protecting a business identity. The following will look into how to prevent business information theft so a small business – or a large one – can avoid the damage this crime can cause.


Delta, PA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/10/2013 -- Business identity theft accounts for $50 billion dollars in losses every year. As yet, business owners and their security teams have not come up with a way to stop this from happening, so it’s likely that number will increase. The first thing to do is to secure individual identities. One’s Social Security number (SSN) or employee ID are just numbers assigned to people at birth and as they age, but those digits don’t really connect to a body. Because of the advent of the personal computer, scanner, and printer, it isn’t difficult to duplicate anyone’s identity. To protect a business identity, the best thing to do is invest in a credit monitoring service. This service can save money in the long run by alerting a business owner to any new accounts opened under his company’s name. Putting a freeze on one’s credit prevents anyone else from opening fraudulent business accounts in a business owner’s name.

To further prevent business identity theft, be careful when accepting credit cards for payment. Anyone can devise a credit card number, place a big order, then take off with the goods without ever paying for them. Get references from other businesses when a large order comes in from an unfamiliar customer, and don’t accept a charge card for those orders until the person or company is confirmed. Speaking of references, be very circumspect about who is about when discussing them. Protect them as if they were a Social Security card, and if anyone calls on a reference, tell the person speaking to call back and pass along that information. Also, beware of websites that resemble the one for one’s small business. They may be the work of a cyber squatter or they may be a spoof site, made to confuse and steal creditors. It isn't difficult for these thieves to download one’s images and codes then make small changes to them, small enough that consumers are easily misled into believing the site is real and that it belongs to a specific business owner.

Should business identity theft occur, there is not a lot of help available. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is overwhelmed with complains of identity theft, more than 30,000 a year, and they can only investigate about 2% of them.

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