Small business owners have a higher risk of identity fraud than other adults according to a recent study co-sponsored by ITAC, the Identity Theft Assistance Center, and The Financial Services Roundtable.
The Javelin Strategy & Research 2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report found that overall identity fraud grew by 14% in 2009 to 11.1 million adults, in part due to the economic downturn. Small business owners are one-and-a-half more times likely to be a victim than other adults
“The higher incidence of identity fraud among small business owners is probably due to the fact that they have more accounts and conduct more transactions,” said ITAC President Anne Wallace.
Wallace suggests small business owners treat their personal information like cash – protect it and be stingy.
- Be suspicious of requests for your Employer Identification Number (EIN)or your social security number
- Install and update computer anti-virus software, operating system and applications updated
- Store personal records – like tax and mortgage records – outside the workplace, limiting access to parties
- Monitor internal bookkeeping for unauthorized withdrawals and purchases
- Monitor accounts online instead of waiting for a paper statement, or consider an identity management service, like ITAC Sentinel ®, to alert you to suspicious activity
For more information on identity theft prevention, detection and recovery, visit www.bbb.org/data-security/.
About the Guest Author: Anne Wallace is President of ITAC, the Identity Theft Assistance Corporation and has provided leadership since it’s inception in 2004. Ms. Wallace is a nationally recognized expert on privacy, financial services and payments law. She began her legal career with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board where she served as Assistant Director of the Division of Consumer and Community Affairs and implemented key consumer credit laws including the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.