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Beware: Corporate Identity Fraud is on the increase

Corporate Identity Fraud is the fraudulent and deliberate misrepresentation of a company’s identity and costs UK businesses millions of pounds every year. Applying for credit cards in the name of a company or ordering goods or services on a company’s account are the most common types.

Companies and directors can fall victim to identity fraud as criminals seek to impersonate the company.

Identity theft has grown as Individuals are increasingly publishing their personal and corporate identity details on company’s websites, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.. Fraudsters now use social media to obtain information commonly used to verify identities.

Some do’s and don’ts

Do:

  • Regularly review your registered information on Companies House and sign up to their secure services to help prevent fraudulent changes to your company information;
  • Have a robust data security policy including a clear desk policy and make sure you shred sensitive data;
  • Install adequate firewalls and other IT protection systems;
  • Be wary of any company you deal with that tells you about change of details, for example, changes to bank details, address, email or phone number.

Don’t:

  • Give out blank letterheads or e-mail company logo’s that could potentially be used for fraud;
  • Rely on information from Companies House when checking a new customer’s credit history. Use other credible sources;
  • Automatically accept notification of a change of bank details. Have extra checks in place to ensure this has come from the correct source.

For further information on Corporate Identity Fraud go to the UK national reporting centre for fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk.

 

 

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