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Corporate Identity Theft Information


Business identity theft (also known as corporate identity theft or commercial identity theft) is a form of identity theft in which someone changes the corporate registration information of a business, such as altering the names of corporate officers, often using the changed information to cause harm to the business and its owners, such as using corporate registration history and additional false documents for establishing lines of credit with banks or retailers. An identity thief then can purchase items that can be bought and exchanged for cash or sold with relative ease.

The damage caused by an identity thief 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 the denial of future credit or simply an increase in the cost of future borrowing for that entity, which can lead to operational problems. The cost to clean up and correct damage can reach hundreds to thousands of dollars and hours of lost time and can be devastating to the victim’s business.

Dealing with business identity theft can be time-consuming and challenging. The following tips can help you if your business is a victim:

  • Correct the unauthorized change to your entity’s corporate registration on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website and sign up for email notifications, as further detailed below.
  • Immediately contact your local law enforcement agency to obtain a police report.
  • Contact the bureau of investigation for any state in which unauthorized use of your business’ identity was perpetrated.
  • Contact the Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection.
  • Immediately contact your bank(s) and credit card provider(s) and report the theft.
  • Compare your EIN with the EIN of the hijacked business and report any differences to the credit reporting agencies.
  • Contact your business creditors and billing companies, and notify them of the criminal activity perpetrated in the name of your business.
  • Contact creditors where the fraudulent accounts were opened, and request copies of all documentation used to open or access the account(s).
  • Maintain detailed records of all actions you take so that you can create a paper trail, as this will be useful in the event you credit needs to be repaired.
  • Contact the major credit reporting agencies and speak with their fraud department to report the crime and view your business credit reports.
  • Dun & Bradstreet : 1-800-700-2733
  • Equifax : 1-800-525-6285
  • Experian : 1-888-397-3742
  • TransUnion : 1-800-680-7289
  • 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 contact with an email address on file to review the entity’s information and 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. A backup security measure permanently stores every email address added to an entity’s record. This measure ensures that a person who attempts fraud does not delete email addresses to block receipt of the notifications by the rightful entity contact.

    The Secretary of State’s Corporations Fraud Investigations Unit investigates allegations of fraudulently filed documents. Our investigation is limited by law to whether the filing in question was properly filed, and if our investigation finds that a document was fraudulently filed, the filing fee for any corrected document may be refunded. Other aspects of potential fraud or identity theft should be directed to the appropriate law enforcement agencies, and our office will fully cooperate with any federal, state, or local investigation. Information relevant to our investigation should be forwarded to our office at 2 MLK Jr. Dr., Suite 313 West Tower, Atlanta, GA 30334 or by email to corporations@sos.ga.gov.


    Additional Anti-Fraud Tips

  • Document contacts, including names, titles, phone numbers, and extensions. Include the names and numbers of all law enforcement officers whom you contact.
  • Follow up all calls with a letter (with a return receipt). Also, follow up and make sure that agencies or institutions have received all documents that they need to assist you.
  • Maintain information. Do not throw away files related to the identity theft. Keep all notes, correspondences, printouts of e-mails, copies of reports, and other documents in a secure and accessible file.
  • Regularly monitor your credit report.
  • Regularly monitor your business record with the Secretary of State’s Corporations Division.
  • Review the Identity Theft section of the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection website.

  • Contact

    214 State Capitol
    Atlanta, Georgia 30334
    844.753.7825
    E-Mail
    © 2012 Georgia Secretary of State