Business Identity Theft - What you need to know

Business Identity Theft – What You Need to Know

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Identity theft doesn’t just wreak havoc on your business finances, credit and reputation; it can cost you a lot of time and money as well. Knowing what it is, how to prevent it, and what to do if you become a victim could save your company’s credit, reputation and bottom line.

What is Business Identity Theft

Just like individuals, businesses can be victims of identity theft. Business identity theft (also known as corporate or company identity theft) occurs when thieves use a company’s information to file a fake tax return, open credit cards, establish a line of credit with a retailer, etc.

Identifying Business Identity Theft

  • The IRS rejects your return or request for extension saying it already has one with that identification number.
  • Unexpected credit cards, accounts or bills show up on your credit report.
  • You receive an IRS notice that doesn’t relate to anything you’ve submitted.
  • Regular bills go missing in the mail.

Preventing Business Identity Theft 	Create a plan to prevent and deal with fraud, including identity theft. 	Maintain only records you need to run your business and keep them in a secure location. Shred old paperwork. 	Never provide your employee identification number (EIN) or any other private or financial information to anyone unless you have initiated the contact. 	Always use a private and secure Internet connection when sending or accessing any private or sensitive information. 	Keep anti-virus software or app installed and up to date. 	Monitor activity on your business’s credit report and all accounts and bills.

What You Need to Do If Your Company’s Identity is Compromised

If you suspect your company is a victim of identity theft, immediately notify relevant parties (i.e. your bank or credit card company), and file a report with your local police and the Federal Trade Commission.

 

Source: IRS

**Sharing information from an outside source does not constitute an endorsement of the source. Some linked sites are not controlled by MidSouth Bank

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