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Credit Report Company Cites Lack of ID Fraud Awareness among Businesses

By Faye Mergel
Published: Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Equifax, one of the country’s three major credit report issuers, notes that business owners lack awareness about identity theft, making themselves and their employees more vulnerable to the fastest growing crime in the United States. The credit reporting agency (CRA) plans to launch an updated version of an ID theft guideline to help businesses protect themselves better against fraudsters.

Credit Report Company Cites Lack of ID Fraud Awareness among BusinessesEquifax says business owners need professional guidelines in fighting risks associated with ID theft. As the CRA found out in its recent survey, businesses in the country are aware of the dangers of fraud, especially companies that are extending credit towards clients and employees. However, most of them have become less aware of fraud committed in the internet or inside corporations. When asked which among fraud risks they consider as the most dangerous, majority of them answered that identity theft is the least risky.
Wayne Ivey, an investigator focusing on ID theft, reports that only one in every 700 identity thieves are ever arrested, encouraging more crooks to join the crime trend.

Specialists say it is alarming to see how identity fraud, which can be considered a simple type of fraud, is easily neglected by business owners when it has to be monitored carefully since it can cause serious damages to a company, its clients, and employees. Experts tell business owners that there are many ways they can protect themselves from identity theft so they must not worry that protection against fraudsters can be costly.

Experts advise companies to be suspicious of callers asking for personal information about their clients, suppliers, or employees since such information are none of any legitimate firm’s business. Companies are reminded that other firms do not need to know the personal information about any third party in order to do business with them. Fraudsters masquerading as legitimate businesses often try to lure companies into giving out personal identifying information so they can work their fraud out.

Companies are also advised to upgrade their computer security, as specialists note that even the password protected and encrypted networks can eventually be accessed by crooks. Esteban Farao, a security expert, says private networks for individual businesses can be very vulnerable.

But experts add that not only companies, but individuals as well, should raise their guards. One of the measures they can take to protect their identity is by reviewing their credit report regularly to detect if any crime has been committed to them.

Consumers are reminded that they are entitled to one free credit report once a year, as guaranteed by federal law.

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