Identity Theft For Businesses

As this article from marketwatch.com shows, identity theft isn’t just for individuals anymore; businesses too can be the victim of identity theft and fraud.

From the article —

If you have your own business and you think it’s a victim of identity theft, good luck. Many consumer protections, available to credit-card identity-theft victims, don’t apply to businesses. Nor, experts say, do local police typically investigate business identity theft. You may not always get help from a credit issuer either.

If, however, a business identity theft shows up on a consumer credit report, as it might with a sole proprietor, consumer protections do apply. Visit www.consumer.gov/idtheft for more information. See the Web site.

But we got little help when our business received an American Express solicitation, addressed to a company that the NASD had expelled from the securities industry. That company, Salomon Grey Financial Corp., also was the subject of a June 1 Securities and Exchange Commission order revoking its broker-dealer registration in conjunction with market manipulation. Plus, it was the subject of a federal court fraud injunction.
Needless to say, we became alarmed.

Business identity-theft complaints have been growing steadily since November, says Jay Foley, executive director of the not-for-profit Identity Theft Resource Center in San Diego. Often, they are from mom-and-pop businesses starting to conduct business on the Internet.
“They get ugly,” Foley said. “The business has to fight off people who want to collect for these accounts.”

Little reliable data on business identity theft exist, experts say, due to the different ways it is reported. Banks find it difficult to tell whether a small business problem is fraud, or related to the company going out of business. Police categorize it as “fraud” rather than “identity theft.” The federal identity theft criminal definition does not cover businesses.

Fraudsters, though, easily can get business information through secretary of state offices and the D&B Business Directory.

You can read the entire article @ Bad company – What happens if your business identity is stolen?.