Business identity theft, even for small business owners, can be devastating to more than just your personal identity.
Most people believe they are safe from this type of identity theft, but that is simply not true.
Over half of these cases originate from an employer, place of business, local, state or federal government.
That’s scary; why? Because…
We are identified in business by our Federal Tax ID, business name, account information, business indicia and identifiers of employees and management.
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.
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.
Phishing is extremely profitable for business identity thieves
and is done by career criminal rings that target the innocent consumer.
See more safeguards for your home and home office at home security tips.
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.
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?
According to the FBI, security breaches have made personal identity theft one of the fastest growing crimes.
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.
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.
This tip also applies to carrying credit cards for your business. This tip will help in your fight against business identity theft.
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.
If this is the case, you won’t know until much later that your identity has indeed been stolen.
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.
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?
The less information you give, the safer your identity will be.
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.