Corporations Elections Licensing Securities
Corporate ID Theft Information
Business identity theft (also known as corporate or commercial identity theft) is a form of identity theft in the criminal enterprise. A criminal can change the corporate registration information of a business, such as altering the names of the corporate officers, and then use the business’s corporate registration history along with additional false documents to establish lines of credit with banks or retailers. Identity thieves can then purchase items that can be bought and exchanged for cash or sold with relative ease.
The damage can be devastating
to both the entity
that had the unauthorized change to its corporate information
and the bank or retailer doing business with the corporation.
The damage to the business entity’s credit history can lead to
denial of future credit or simply increase the cost of future
borrowing for that entity, which can lead to operational
problems. The cost to clean up and correct the damage can reach
hundreds to thousands of dollars and hours of lost time. The damage
can be devastating to the victim’s business. The damage to the
victim’s credit history can lead to denial of credit, which can lead to
operational problems. The cost to clean up and correct the damage can
be hundreds of dollars and hours of lost time.
Resolving issues caused by business identity theft can be a time-consuming and challenging process. The following tips will help you if you are a victim.
Contact the largest credit reporting agencies and speak with the Fraud Department to report the crime and view your business credit report.
The Secretary of State’s e-mail notification
program sends an e-mail to every email address associated with
the corporate entity every time a change is made to any field in
the corporate filing. The notification asks each entity contact
with an email address on file to review the entity’s
information, to make sure that the changed information is
authorized and correct.
We encourage you to include more than one email address with
each of your entities to ensure receipt of e-mail notifications.
Additionally, a backup security measure permanently stores every email address added to an entity’s record. This measure ensures that a person who attempts fraud can not delete email addresses to block receipt of the notifications by the rightful entity contact.
Though the Secretary of State’s office has statutory authority to investigate consumer complaints and allegations of criminal activity in other divisions, such as Elections and Professional Licensing, we do not have statutory authority – through either the Corporations Division or the Investigations Unit – to investigate complaints of alleged corporate identity theft. However, we always fully cooperate with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies that request our assistance to help them investigate potential criminal activity.
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