• Thu. Sep 28th, 2023

News Eyeo

All Important News

AG Nessel Provides Businesses with Tips to Prevent Identity Theft


Sep 12, 2023

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel recently spoke at an event hosted by the West Coast Chamber of Commerce to raise awareness about Business Identity Theft. Nessel emphasized that this issue impacts businesses of all sizes and can often go unnoticed. To combat this problem, the Michigan Attorney General’s Office plans to hold presentations throughout the state to educate residents on common scams and available resources for victims of identity theft.

According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, business-to-business fraud costs US companies approximately $7 billion annually. Business identity theft occurs when criminals use a company’s name to steal its assets, credit, or reputation. This can involve impersonating a business or filing fraudulent paperwork to take over a company.

Attorney General Nessel highlights six types of identity theft that business owners should be aware of: financial fraud, “bust-out” fraud, tax fraud, website defacement, trademark ransom, and material misrepresentation. Each of these types involves different methods used by criminals to exploit businesses.

To protect their business from identity theft, Nessel advises business owners to take certain steps. These include setting up fraud alerts with credit reporting agencies, training employees to safeguard login information, using separate devices for personal and business purposes, regularly scanning for vulnerabilities, understanding how hackers use employees to gain access to company data, using website defacement monitoring services, installing anti-virus/anti-malware software, and advocating for legislation that makes it harder to steal a business’ identity.

In addition, businesses should take measures to protect themselves from cybersquatting, which involves the unauthorized use of a company’s brand or trademarks. Nessel recommends trademarking the brand, conducting regular searches for company names and unique products, purchasing similar domain names, limiting administrative access to the company’s website, seeking recommendations from IT and cyber security companies, and using resources such as Michigan State University’s online Brand Protection Professional.

Business owners should also be proactive in protecting their business from business tax fraud. This can be done by checking the business’ credit file regularly, encrypting sensitive files, using secure networks for backups, implementing multifactor authentication, and investing in credit monitoring services.

While some of these solutions may require financial investment, Attorney General Nessel emphasizes that the upfront cost can save businesses from potential financial losses in the future.

To file a complaint or obtain more information, individuals can contact the Consumer Protection Team at the Attorney General’s Office. The office also offers resources for consumers to review on various topics related to consumer protection. Additionally, the Michigan Identity Theft Support (MITS) is available to assist victims of identity theft with navigating the challenges they face.

Overall, businesses must be vigilant and proactive in protecting themselves from identity theft and other forms of fraud. By taking preventative measures and staying informed, businesses can reduce their risk and safeguard their assets, credit, and reputation.

By Editor

Leave a Reply