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How to Save Your Company from Business Identity Theft in 2024?

24 January, 2024

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Identity theft is not merely confined to individuals. In fact, with the constant evolution in the technological sector, companies now face the challenge of business identity theft. Perpetrators are always seeking opportunities to sneak into a company’s database and acquire sensitive information from businesses. According to a report issued by Statista in 2023, the financial sector was the major sector facing the challenge of data breaches. Furthermore, the Federal Trade Commission stated in Feb 2023 that there were around 1.1 Million identity theft cases in 2022 alone.

This challenge emerges as a significant threat for businesses worldwide as companies may lose their identity just like individual identities. Nevertheless, now is the time for businesses to build effective verification strategies to combat these security threats. Let’s discover what is business identity theft and how the KYB process helps enterprises ensure their protection.

What is Business Identity Theft?

Business identity theft, also referred to as corporate identity theft, is the act where criminals impersonate an organization to exploit it for illicit activities. In fact, it is a step that aims to hurt a business’s identity and reputation. In 2021, around 1.2 Million small business owners reported the theft of their official company IDs, which is enormous. From this perspective, any small or large entity can be the victim of business identity theft if it holds a corporate tax ID.

Prominent Examples of Business Identity Theft

Following are the main tactics imposters utilize to steal sensitive information from companies and use it for their own benefits:

  • Stealing Tax Information

Imposters can conveniently steal information from companies for their own benefit. When organizations release their official documents with corporate information, they might often contain tax details such as sales tax numbers or company license details. Scammers can use these numbers to file fake tax returns and get refunds.

  • Fake Accounts on Social Media

The creation of fake social media accounts using business names, images, and company details by imposters is another tactic to conduct deceitful acts. It takes a few days or weeks till the newly created business accounts become detectable on media platforms. Hence, scammers take advantage of this time of less visibility and try to target customers with fake and aggressive social media campaigns.

  • Phishing Emails

Another common example of business identity theft is through phishing emails. Scammers try to impersonate the target companies by exploiting their logos and business names. Nevertheless, the primary aim behind the process is to gather the banking information of businesses. Scammers then conduct crimes such as financial fraud, credit card scams, and other illicit monetary crimes.

  • Similar Websites

Copying the websites of businesses is another major technique companies utilize for business identity theft. Scammers may mimic the entire website designs of target organizations to deceive customers for their own benefit. Unaware clients sometimes land on these websites through search engines and social media campaigns.

  • Fake Invoices

Making fake company invoices to deceive other businesses is another common practice in business identity theft. Imposters may issue fake invoices to your business partners with similar company names and identities and ask them to make payments. Nevertheless, it directly impacts the reputation of any business in the industry.

Also read: Shell Companies: A Significant Threat for Businesses Worldwide

Data Theft Insights

How Business Identity Theft Can Harm Your Organization?

Business identity theft is a rising challenge that leaves a direct impact on any business. It directly impacts the reputation of a company, eventually curbing its overall growth and market reputation. Here are some major challenges companies face due to less secure systems:

  • Loss of Trust from Businesses

The very first and major drawback of business identity theft is the loss of trust from business partners. As companies or consumers get fake invoices with the identical brand name of your company, a huge question mark comes on your business. This may end up canceling long-term partnerships and push your partners to collaborate with better customers.

  • Declines Business Reputation

Business reputation in the industry holds significant importance as it is one of a company’s most fragile assets. In fact, it represents the quality of business relationships, creditors, and customers. Hence, corporate identity thieves may alter the company’s reputation in the industry and break the brand image.

  • Revenue Loss

Revenue loss is a major threat businesses have to face due to business identity theft. Small businesses, in particular, often face major challenges as they don’t have enough funding and financial reserves. As a result, companies may start struggling to pay employees, vendors, and business partners on time. According to the report issued by the FBI in 2023, the US lost around $4 billion every year. 

  • Intricate Tax Disputes

When imposters exploit company identities to file fraudulent tax returns, your business may face serious consequences in the form of tax penalties and hefty fines. In addition, it often becomes difficult for enterprises to save their name once it is manipulated by scammers for business identity theft.

How to Ensure Business Identity Protection?

Information Protection

The protection of sensitive business information is now more crucial than ever. Companies must avoid sharing any information that puts their business at risk of identity loss or security breach. Whether it’s a social media platform or a business website, companies must have a defined policy to educate the company employees to safeguard sensitive business information. 

Business Verification

Careful business verification plays a significant role in helping companies protect their identity. In-depth corporate authentication while onboarding new companies allows your business to ensure that you are partnering up with an authentic and credible entity that doesn’t hold any hidden aims for illicit activities. 

Ensure Secure Website

Secure and protected websites represent the credibility of companies in the industry. Furthermore, a regular security update of the company site, frequent scanning for malware and viruses, and protection with a firewall ensure a guarded site of your company.

Business Verification for Identity Theft Protection

Extensive business verification procedures during company onboarding help in the detection of fraudulent organizations and fake vendors. Therefore, real-time corporate screening, risk assessment of enterprises, and document and UBO verification are some of the ultimate steps companies must take to identify fake companies.

The KYB’s extensive verification services help companies prevent business identity theft. Our access to the real-time database of 300+ companies allows us to ensure instant verification and quick identification of fraudulent entities. Ready to ensure the safety of your company’s identity? Talk to our experts today and discover how our identity theft protection for businesses works! 

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