New Idaho application protects businesses from fraud

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The Idaho secretary of state in partnership with Access Idaho has created a new computer application aimed at protecting the state’s businesses from fraud.

Called the Business Identity Monitoring application, the program sends Idaho business owners an alert when someone makes a change to the company’s official state government registry of businesses, which includes information such as owners and operators of the company.

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 1.13.51 PM“For example, if someone was to change the name of the chief financial officer of the company, it will send those using the system an alert,” said Rich Steckler, the director of marketing for Access Idaho, the state’s NIC affiliate, in an interview with StateScoop. “That could stop potential fraud as someone could illegally register themselves as a member of the company and use that to take out credit cards or loans. This system allows businesses to keep themselves ahead of fraud and likely avoid the problems that come along with it.”

Steckler also said the service can be useful for owners of the company to protect themselves. For instance, if a co-owner attempted to remove another as an officer of the company, the other co-owner would be notified. The same goes true for if a couple, like a husband and wife, owned a company together.

“Corporate identity theft is a real issue and this is something we think will greatly decrease it in the state of Idaho and will be an especially useful tool for small and medium sized business,” Steckler said.

Here’s how it works: Business owners can create an account through Access Idaho to track all the businesses they wish to monitor. Access Idaho monitors business name, address, status, type, officers and annual report.

Each time a change is made on a business, the owner on record receives an email or text notification within 24 hours of the change. Business owners can also receive warning notifications when the annual report is not filed before the business is dissolved.

The system, which had a soft launch on June 12, charges companies a $30 annual fee to use.

“There are nearly 139,000 entities registered in Idaho,” said Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said in a statement. “While business owners and corporations attempt to protect their entities and investments, it can be difficult to always stay alert and informed to outside risks. This tool is designed to eliminate some of those risks.”

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Idaho, States
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