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How to Prevent Business Identity Theft from Happening to Your Business

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Business Identity Theft
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Technology is advancing at a rapid pace. For business owners, this can be a wondrous thing: the further our tech world goes, the more opportunities they present for companies. However, the flip side is also true: con artists and thieves also benefit from the always-improving tech world. Because of this, advancing technology also opens business owners up to more potential scams, fraudulent schemes, or identity theft.

Though identity theft in your business is a frightening concept, precautions can be taken against it— and we’re here to help. If you’re ready to take all the necessary steps to protect your business from identity fraud, read on.

What is Business Identity Theft? 

In most identity theft scenarios, a scammer impersonates somebody else to fraudulently gain benefits, whether that’s money, credit, medical procedures, or other expenses. In the case of business identity theft, also referred to as commercial identity or corporate theft, occurs when a scammer pretends to be a brand, business, or member of a company. They often target businesses because it gives them access to high credit rates, big bank accounts, and regular pay cycles.

Business identity theft is dangerous because of the large scale on which it can have an effect. When a major company is targeted by identity thieves, hundreds of employees or clients can suffer financial consequences, or have their private information compromised.

Can Small Businesses Protect Themselves? 

Definitely! Many scams target small business owners— but their scams are easy to spot once you know what to look for. Be on the sentry for:

  • Phony Fee Requests

Some scammers manage to nab identifying information from businesses by posing as an industry-specific organization or agency. In these scams, they will pretend that you need to renew a license or pay for a due or accreditation. To avoid this, keep careful track of all your recurring fees, and when they need to be paid. If you receive a suspicious call, don’t offer your information up before looking into the number and name of the organization you heard from.

  • Phishy Wire Transfer Queries

When a person receives an email from their boss or CEO, it’s natural to believe it’s really them. However, scammers use this trust to fraudulently extract money from company employees. If you receive an email from anybody in your company asking you to wire them money, speak to them in person or on the phone immediately. Luckily, many phishing emails use common tactics, so if you know how to spot them they’re easier to avoid.

  • Dodgy Card Processors

Which credit card processing company you choose matters— not all of them are trustworthy. Some take out extraneous fees or even steal money. To avoid problems,  read reviews, speak to other business owners, and check with your company-associated bank before installing a reader.

  • Counterfeit Invoices 

It can seem tiresome to double-check every invoice you receive, but it’s important. Many scammers manage to steal money from small businesses by sending phony invoices for services or product sales that never happened.

Are There Ways to Avoid Being Targeted? 

Though anybody or any business can, unfortunately, be a target for identity fraud, there are still ways to lessen your chances of being a victim.

For starters, we urge business owners to be discreet about their company details online. Though of course, it’s important to share some information for marketing reasons, the more that a scammer is able to glean about your business from a digital search, the more likely they are to be able to successfully impersonate you or someone from your team. The same goes for your employees— though it’s great if your team loves their job enough to post about it on social media, urge them not to let it get too specific.

It’s important to stay on top of things— invoices, business paperwork, credit information, and file security should all be regularly checked on or monitored. If anything seems out of the ordinary, it will be spotted faster— and dealt with in a more swift and organized manner.

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