Part 1 of 3: How it works
Today we start a three part series about Business Identity Theft in Los Angeles. People are very familiar with personal identity theft because of the sheer number of cases they hear from friends and family or in the news. Business Identity Thefts are not as engrained in the public consciousness, but they are a growing trend, especially in Los Angeles and throughout southern California.
Business identity theft in California happens when criminals pose as owners, officers or employees of a business to illegally get cash, credit, and loans, leaving the victimized business with the debts.
Identity thieves can steal a business’ identity by gaining access to the business’ bank accounts and credit cards or by stealing sensitive company information, such as the tax identification number (TIN) and the owners’ personal information.
The thieves then open up lines of credit or get business loans based on the business’ identity and creditworthiness. Typically, thieves cash out quickly and go unnoticed until the bills and collection notices arrive at the door of the victimized business, leaving behind debts, damaged credit and a destroyed reputation.
Once the scheme is uncovered, businesses spend valuable time and resources to repair the harm to their finances, their credit profile, and their reputation.
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