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Small businesses across the country are now being targeted for identity fraud, receiving emails allegedly from the Federal Trade Commission.

The circulating emails encourage small businesses to take action against a customer complaint, when in reality it is an elaborate email scam to steal your company’s personal and financial information.

The subject line reads “NOTIFICATION OF CONSUMER COMPLAINT” and contains links and attachments that lead small businesses to believe they will solve the issue rather than steal their identity.

Clicking on the links or opening the attachments will automatically install a virus or other spyware onto your computer, giving the identity thief access to company and customer information. The FTC warns small businesses that the customer complaints are not true and recommends that you delete the email immediately.

Small businesses must take the appropriate steps to safeguard their company and customers. Your vulnerability to identity fraud could cost your business more than you think. Your company could suffer from:

  • Frozen bank accounts
  • Lost work time and earnings
  • Personal liabilities
  • Inability to receive a clean audit
  • Negative credit reporting
  • State and Federal tax consequences
  • Business failure

Small businesses are deeply impacted by identity theft and should be proactive to maximize their security. Not only should you invest in security software, but you should also establish a secure document destruction schedule to protect your company from all types of identity fraud.