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10 Business Identify Theft Tips

  • 21 June 2016
  • Author: Alexander Carr
  • Number of views: 2201
10 Business Identify Theft Tips

Last year, Ars Technica reports, the IRS shut down an electronic tool for obtaining tax data after a massive fraud operation involving commercial data breaches managed to extract filing data for hundreds of thousands of taxpayers. This year, the IRS is facing a new wave of fraud, as criminals engage in a phishing campaign to obtain employees' W-2 form data.

But identity theft isn’t just a threat to the security of personal information. Business identities can be stolen as well. According to the Identity Theft Protection Association, business EINs, bank account information and business registration information can be stolen and used to commit fraud.

The organization recommends businesses take the following actions to help prevent business identity theft from destroying your business:

1.   Review commercial and business banking agreements: Individual banks can have shorter than average fraud reporting timelines and strict requirements, so read through your bank’s policy carefully.

2.   For wire transfers, implement two-factor authentication requiring two-party approvals for outgoing transfers. If wire transfers aren’t necessary for your business, ask your bank to filter, limit or block them altogether.

3.   Monitor business accounts daily. For convenience, set up email or text alerts regarding account activity through your bank.

4.   Consider enterprise-level security software (not free or personal computer software) on one, dedicated computer for accessing financial information. Update the software regularly.

5.   Educate employees about phishing email scams, which can trick them into sharing confidential business information.

6.   Be suspicious of unsolicited business credit applications, and verify the authenticity and return mailing address before you complete and return the form.

7.   Secure business sensitive documents and shred those that are no longer needed.

8.   Regularly review business registration information online through your Secretary of State and enroll in email alerts (if available) that can notify you when the information has been changed or updated.

9.   Ask any trade and credit references you may have to notify you if they are contacted by a third party about your business.

10. Be nosy. Use Google Alerts to notify you when your business name appears online in order to spot imposters. 

For more tips, see the Identity Theft Protection Association’s Business Identity Theft Protection Guide. And, for specific questions or concerns, feel free to contact us.

Image Copyright: robeo / 123RF Stock Photo

Categories: Blog, General
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