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:

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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

Want to Keep Your Small Business Going Strong? Avoid Tax Identity Theft

Business Tax Identity Theft_March 2016

Among life’s inevitabilities, taxes are firmly planted — with income taxes becoming a permanent fixture in the U.S. in 1913. It was then that the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was created, giving Congress legal authority to tax the incomes of both individuals and businesses. 

With that single requirement grew many guidelines (updated regularly by the Internal Revenue Service) — along with numerous tax-related risks that could threaten to close your business, tax identity theft tops the list. Dealing with this profusion of factors can seem chaotic to any small business owner. But while taxes are inevitable, business tax identity theft doesn’t have to be. Stick to these tax basics to avoid business tax identity theft from wreaking havoc on your small business.  Continue reading