Business Identity Theft Part II: Why It Happens

Ever wonder why thieves go after businesses?

In our last post, we talked about business identity theft and how it happens.  We have a good understanding of how thieves can get a hold of business identities, but why are they going after an entity versus an individual? The answers may seem obvious, but are no less shocking.  And yes, it’s almost always about money.

Money In the Bank

Individuals do not have nearly the amount of money in the bank as a business.  Even small businesses can have anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 in the bank at all times, making the til more attractive to a thief who wants access to cash and fast.  A larger business has even more at stake; tens of thousands of dollars is easy to skim when no one is suspecting it.

Credit Is Easy to Acquire

Your EIN is all a thief needs to open a business account, and banks are less likely to ask as many questions of a business than an individual. Business accounts are sought after by other businesses, banks and credit card companies. Of course a thief wants access to these types of assets.

Credit Limits Are Bigger

A thief would love to make bulk purchases of big ticket items. Think laptops, tablets, copy machines. Businesses make purchases of these items often, and it doesn’t look suspicious for a business to purchase 10 laptops.  An individual wouldn’t get away with this, but a business can, and a thief would love nothing more than to take your business identity to make a hefty purchase with a bigger credit limit.

Your Information is Out in the Open

Filing your business with the state means your information is out in the open, such as your tax ID, or business license number.  You may even have a website with your address, number, and branding. It’s real easy for a thief to get this information and do as they please with it.

Having your business identity compromised means your business can fold in a matter of days. Do your employees know how to handle sensitive information? Are you properly storing your business documents? How are you destroying old documents once you no longer need them?

Be safe. Keep your business your business, not a profit center for an identity thief. Have a business protection plan, and make sure document shredding is included in your plan. It can mean the difference between staying open or closing for good.

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