Risk of Identity Theft is a Costly Proposition for SMBs

Small Business Owner Looking at Laptop

Much like individuals, businesses can be victims of identity theft. However, unlike personal identity theft, it is often unclear how a Small and Medium-Sized Business (SMB) can recover from the financial and reputational impact. Business identity theft occurs when criminals impersonate a company to target its funds, file fraudulent tax returns, take out loans, or apply for lines of credit — all for financial gain. Continue reading

My Business Has a Credit Score?

What is business credit? 

When’s the last time you checked your business credit score? If you’ve never checked it before, you’re not alone – nearly half of small business owners don’t even know they have one. 

Like personal credit, business credit is used to determine a business’ borrowing and lending abilities. It’ll be checked when you apply for business loans or when other companies want to ensure you are financially reliable before doing business with you. 

Small business owners often make the mistake of assuming business credit is the same as personal credit. But, without understanding the key differences between the two, you could be putting your business’ overall security and reputation at risk.  Continue reading

Business ID Theft (Part 2): Public Info, Easy Access

Business ID Theft 101: Part 2 

In Part 1 of our Business ID Theft series, we looked at how business identity theft is much like personal identity theft. Let’s review some key points:

  • Business identity theft and data breaches are not the same. Business identity theft requires the “actual impersonation of the business itself.”
  • Stealing your business’ identity allows criminals to open new lines of credit, bank accounts, apply for loans and make fraudulent purchases in your business’ name.
  • Identity thieves keep coming up with ways around existing protective measures put in place, as well as exploit loopholes in filing processes to carry out their crimes.
  • Business identity theft can ultimately lead to business failure. A study found that 60 percent of victims go out of business within one year.

Now that we understand what business identity theft is, let’s talk about how criminals go about committing it. This type of crime targets certain companies for a variety of reasons. However, the goal for any identity thief is to misuse the information — while remaining undetected — for as long as possible. Thus, criminals have come up with ways to outsmart existing systems in place, as well as create new routes to a business’ sensitive information.

Let’s explore four ways that criminals can obtain your business’ sensitive information and victimize you and your business through business identity theft:

Continue reading

Business ID Theft (Part 1): SMBs Have Identities Too

Business Identity Theft 101 

Identity theft comes in all shapes and sizes. Despite the effort we put into protecting our financial accounts, Social Security numbers and online login credentials, we’ve seen identity crimes continue to grow.

We know it’s important to protect our personal identities. But when was the last time you thought about protecting your small business’ identity?

Like people, businesses can also fall victim to identity theft. Criminals take on a business’ identity to target its funds, file fraudulent tax returns, take out loans, apply for lines of credit and accumulate debt under the company’s name. Continue reading