Millions of pounds – that’s how much corporate identity theft costs UK businesses every year. When fraudsters grab hold of your corporate identity, they can order goods and services in your company’s name or trade illegally on your reputation.
And it’s easier than you might expect. Fraudsters can file false documents with Companies House. They may try to change details such as your company’s directors and registered office – then use these details to defraud your business.
Setting public records straight, repairing credit ratings and rebuilding trust with suppliers and customers. The consequences of having your corporate identity are widespread.
Risks to be aware of
Every company is at risk. However, those with fewer security controls are more vulnerable
Anyone can send a form to update details at Companies House – all filings are accepted in good faith. And when false information is filed with Companies House, fraudsters use your company’s identity to get hold of goods and services on credit that’s never paid for. They might even trade on your reputation.
Look after your corporate identity
• Check - regularly confirm the registered details of your company and its directors at Companies House.
• Put alerts in place - consider registering with Companies House for Protected Online Filing (PROOF) and subscribing to MONITOR, the service that issues an alert if any company information is changed.
• Don’t rely solely on Companies House records – Companies House maintains public records. It’s not designed to be a crime prevention or credit reference agency.
• Double check your information – use with trade associations, professional bodies and trusted internet sites. However, fraudsters can also set up internet sites to back up their claims.
Visit the Companies House website
Don’t share too much
Don’t give out unnecessary information on headed paper or websites.
• Limit details in recruitment ads. If you’re advertising for staff, limit the personal information you include to stop fraudsters abusing it.
• Be wary of prize draws - fraudsters can use details to obtain useful data on employees and your organisation.