Identity Theft

Identity theft of businesses, their customers and employees is becoming more and more common as hackers seem to try to outdo each other. We hope you don't think that this won't happen to you, because you're just as likely to become a victim as any other business. No one is ever prepared for identity theft to happen to them, but now it's possible to do more to protect your business. In this week's articles, here are some things to consider.

Cyber thieves make millions every year by stealing identities -- and businesses aren't immune from the crime. (Item #1)     This article covers the various types of business data breaches, including ways to minimize your risks and -- if a breach has occurred -- how to respond. (Item #2)     Individual identity theft has received a lot of press in recent years, but what about the theft of a business' identity? (Item #3)    

If you are a business owner, board member, or other key executive, you probably have greater exposure and risk from identity theft because your personal information, credit, and finances are closely intertwined with your business. (Item #4) provides a list of the five best identity theft companies for business. (Item #5)     Due to a new IRS ruling, more employers are likely to provide data-breach monitoring and related services to employees. (Item #6)    

As always, I look forward to hearing about your concerns with regard to business continuity. If there are any topics that you'd like to see covered, email me at

Bob Mellinger, President
Attainium Corp

1. Business ID theft: The new cyber crime

According to Brian Wozniak, senior tax specialist for the IRS, and Chuck Harwood, northwest regional director of the Federal Trade Commission, cyber criminals target businesses and not just individuals. "...businesses are often victims, and they often have their identities stolen," Wozniak said. "These perpetrators are seeking the customer and employee information. Tax-related identity theft happens when someone tries to use the identity of the business. The thieves are a savvy group. They're early adapters to technology."

2. Business Data Breach & Customer ID Theft

We tend to think of identity theft as something that only affects individuals who fail to safeguard their personal information, often the result of a compromised password or sensitive data pulled from the garbage. But businesses that collect personal information such as addresses, credit card numbers or even Social Security numbers have a great responsibility to prevent data breaches and protect their customers from identity theft.

3. Could your business become an identity-theft victim?

Business identity theft is proving to be easier and more lucrative than stealing a consumer's identity. In 2014, JP Morgan Chase acknowledged a massive data breach that affected 76 million households and 7 million small businesses. Business theft occurs when criminals pose as owners or employees to obtain cash, credit and loans. And the theft may not be discovered until there are significant losses. Now, the owner is saddled with debt and could even lose assets that were fraudulently pledged to secure these loans.

4. Business ID theft: Slow progress in the battle against fraudsters

According to, "If you are a small business owner, you and your business identity may be one and the same -- and anything that impacts your business, directly impacts you." And there's more. Most everyone thinks identity theft against businesses is an "on the books" crime, but that is incorrect -- very few US states have laws protecting a business's identity.

5. Best Five Identity Theft Companies Reviews of 2015

Identity theft can be a huge problem for both small and enterprise businesses. In many cases, protection companies offer a free monitoring service to businesses who are affected by these issues. However, there are also steps that business owners can take to protect themselves and prevent the issue from occurring in the first place. The best way to do this is to find, and pay, for one of the best business identity theft monitoring services available.

6. IRS OKs Excluding ID Protection Benefits from Taxable Income

IRS Announcement 2016-02 now extends the prior guidance to include identity protection services provided to employees despite the absence of a data breach, allowing the value of employer-provided ID protection benefits to be excluded from an employee's gross income and wages. Likewise, the value of these services does not need to be reported on an employee's Form W-2 or on a Form 1099-MISC.

Quote of the Week:

"Identity theft is a serious crime that affects millions of Americans each year."

-- Ben Bernanke

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Attainium Corp