Preventing business identity theft: 5 tips
Identity theft isn’t just a consumer problem. Criminals steal the identities of businesses, too. In addition to filing fraudulent tax returns, criminals assume the identities of companies to apply for credit, impersonate authorized users and empty bank accounts. Here are five ways you can reduce the chance it will happen to your business.
1. Protect confidential documents
Secure sensitive paper documents such as financial statements, invoices, bank statements and aging schedules in locked file cabinets. Store digital files in secure, password-protected locations.
2. Shred documents you no longer need
When you no longer need sensitive paper documents, destroy them using a cross-cutting shredder. If you need to shred a significant volume of paper, hire a service to destroy documents on your premises.
3. Don’t drop your guard online
Thieves use malware to infect computers and gather sensitive data. They also create fake websites that trick employees into entering login and password information. To protect against these tactics, deploy software patches when prompted and maintain up-to-date antivirus software on computers.
4. Educate employees
Coach everyone from executives to rank-and-file employees about the types of threats facing your company and how they can do their part to ensure sensitive data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
5. Monitor bank accounts
If a fraudulent transaction posts to your bank account, you must notify your bank within a certain time period to not be liable for the transaction. To avoid missing out on this window, reconcile your bank accounts daily. Also note that criminals often use wires to move stolen money overseas and beyond the reaches of U.S. law enforcement. If you never send wires, instruct your bank to block that capability from your accounts.
Once criminals get ahold of sufficient information about a company’s identity, they can commit fraud that is difficult to detect and might lead to significant financial losses. We can help you establish controls to fend off these identity thieves.