Business Identity Theft?
Minimize The Risk!

Business identity theft, even for small business owners, can be devastating to more than just your personal identity.

Minimize your chance of business identity theft.

Most people believe they are safe from this type of identity theft, but that is simply not true.

  • There are over 10 million New identity theft cases every year.

Over half of these cases originate from an employer, place of business, local, state or federal government.

That’s scary; why? Because…

This involves all of us in one form or another. Also see identity theft software and card credit fraud identity theft for more tips to help you avoid becoming the next victim.

We are identified in business by our Federal Tax ID, business name, account information, business indicia and identifiers of employees and management.

How Business Identity Theft Happens

  • Any one of the above identifiers can be illegally used to commit all types of identity theft that would take months, if not longer, to be aware of.

Rather than being defrauded on just a personal level, this business identity theft would put you as a victim of fraud on a corporate level.

The effects of business identity theft, whether you work for a corporation, own a small business or have a business from home, will be devastating to your business credit rating, ruin your company name, and severely damage your reputation.

  • Fraudulent loans and huge purchases can be made in your name, and it is fact that even illegal business deals have been made using a victim’s company name.

All the thief needs is the social security number of the business owner, which will then allow the thief access to your business and checking accounts.

  • Especially vulnerable is your business and personal information that’s online.

Phishing is extremely profitable for business identity thieves and is done by career criminal rings that target the innocent consumer.

A scenario that is even scarier is the fact that all the personal data of your employees and clients can be accessed and your business information sold. The biggest hit to you in business identity theft is your income being destroyed.

  • Small businesses are extremely vulnerable to this type of identity theft, because it is much more difficult to recover from this, as you don’t have the resources of a large company.

See more safeguards for your home and home office at home security tips.

  • The large companies such as Amazon or E-bay have hundreds of people employed in various divisions to specifically deal with business identity theft, because it has become such a huge problem.

It is important that large and small businesses understand the laws and legislation that apply to your business and minimize the risks by taking the appropriate steps to protect the information of your customers, employees etc.

Also check out at cyber identity theft for more important areas to be aware of for your business and personal safety.

  • Major companies and banks have had identity theft happen.

My bank had the identity of thousands of clients stolen recently.

Retired General John M. Shalikashvilli had his social security published in the Congressional Record.

If this can happen to him, how safe are we?

  • Due to astonishingly widespread corporate carelessness, over 46 million people have had their records lost or stolen in just the first half of 2005 alone, and the cases just keep getting higher.

According to the FBI, security breaches have made personal identity theft one of the fastest growing crimes.

Tips For Avoiding Business Identity Theft

Use a shredder. Using a shredder stops your personal and business information from ending up in a thief’s hands. A crosscut shredder is the best, as it cuts in a 2 way (cross) cut, rather than just a strip method.

Shred documents, don't become a victim of identity theft.
  • Carry minimal personal information. If your wallet is lost or stolen it will minimize the damage.
  • Watch your credit card receipts. I always watch what is done with my receipts.
  • In restaurants, I make sure I don’t leave receipts lying around on a table or counter and make sure the waitress puts the receipt away where it is “out of sight, out of mind”.

The same holds true when I rent movies. I make sure my receipt is Not left on the counter, but in a receipt box that is in a drawer, behind the counter.

This is simple, and another one of the ways to prevent identity theft. This all amounts to you being aware and taking precautions to protect your identity.

  • Carry only one credit card. If your wallet is lost or stolen, you minimize the damage the thief can do.

This tip also applies to carrying credit cards for your business. This tip will help in your fight against business identity theft.

  • Don’t leave your mail in your mailbox for long periods of time or overnight. The shorter the period of time you keep your mail exposed to a risk of being taken or broken into, the better.

Take a look at home security tips to minimize your risks for your home and office identity theft.

The years I lived in an apartment, I would either put my outgoing mail in my mailbox in the morning, stop by the Post Office, or a Mailbox USA type service and drop it in their mailbox.

  • Pay attention to the billing cycles of your bills. If your bills are late in coming check with your creditors to make sure an identity thief hasn’t stolen your account or changed the billing address.

If this is the case, you won’t know until much later that your identity has indeed been stolen.

  • Make sure you find out the security procedures used in business, doctor’s office, work place and any other places you do business that collect your personal information.

You need to know who has access to it, how they dispose of it, who they give access to your information, and how secure it is.

  • Have your personal or business checks sent to the bank for pickup.

This stops the identity thief from stealing your checks from your mailbox and using them. Thieves have a process they use when they steal checks from you mailbox.

They do what’s called “Wash” the checks so all the information such as who the check is made out to, date, amount and signature are totally wiped off so the thief can make out the check with their own information.

Frightening thought, right?

  • Be very protective to whom you give your personal information and under what circumstances.

The less information you give, the safer your identity will be.

  • One of the big ways of preventing personal identity theft, or business identity theft is Not to give any personal information out over the phone.

There will be many times you will be asked to confirm a name or birth date, etc; and, when asked, just tell the person asking for it, “Sorry, I don’t give out that kind of information”.

Truthfully, it matters little to me if a caller doesn’t like that answer. I will do what ever is needed to protect myself and my identity, as I know you would.

These are some of the most important and critical ways to prevent personal and business identity theft.

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