Although consumer identity theft has been around for several years, corporate identity theft now seems to be the target of choice for cyber thieves.
What Are Corporate Identity Theft and Cybersecurity?
Corporate identity theft is when a person or company acts as though they are the business. They use the business credentials and records, whether by manipulating them or falsifying them. They impersonate the business to banks, creditors, suppliers and any other entity the business has dealings with.
They may even change the names of corporate officers in state documents.
Cybersecurity is a company’s efforts to protect networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access. These types of cyber attacks can include theft of a company’s bank account numbers, passwords, and routing numbers.
Some of the reasons thieves are choosing corporate identity theft over consumer identity theft are:
- Businesses have larger bank account balances than ordinary consumers.
- The credit and charge accounts in the name of the business generally have higher credit limits than ones for individuals.
- Large purchases by businesses are not scrutinized as carefully as similar purchases by individuals.
- Identity information from a business is easier to obtain. Identifiers are posted online, such as a sales tax number as well as the business license number. Business credit reports are easily attainable and contain a wealth of information for would-be thieves to use to their advantage.
- It is easier to get away with it. Corporate identity thieves are better able to disguise their own identity and existence by hiding behind technology.
Steps You Can Take to Prevent Corporate Identity Theft
- Pay close attention to all emails from the office of the Secretary of State who sends emails to all who are associated with a business entity whenever a change is made to corporate records.
- Monitor your business credit reports for any unauthorized activity.
The Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection does not investigate these crimes, but fully cooperates with investigations conducted by law enforcement. Contact this office if you believe you have been the victim of corporate identity theft.