As the owner of the San Paso Truck Stop, I encounter a lot of truckers.
You all are a savvy bunch, I’ve learned. You don’t take anything at face value.
So I wasn’t surprised when Company Alarm started offering free business identity theft monitoring to truckers that I got a lot of questions.
What are you talking about? truckers ask me. I’ve never heard of business identity theft. How could it be a problem?
Oh it’s a problem alright – a problem facing all businesses. I started Company Alarm because I was a victim of business identity theft while I was managing the truck stop.
In fact, I’m still a victim of business identity theft. Let me explain.
In late 2015, someone logged onto the Nevada Secretary of State’s online business portal, SilverFlume, and filed a fraudulent business document for company I used to stash a $5 million piece of land I and dozens of investors had owned free and clear for more than a decade.
The fraudulent filing removed me as the company’s managing member and named someone else in charge of the company.
The Secretary of State accepted the illicit filing because it did not have the authority the verify the legitimacy of the documents it receives. It simply can determine whether forms have been filled out correctly. If they are, the Nevada Secretary of State has to accept them, with no questions asked.
Indeed, this is true for most states and it’s the basis for the business identity theft problem we have in America today.
Anyway, I didn’t find out that this unauthorized document had been filed for many months, which gave the identity thieves plenty of time to make mischief. First, they borrowed against the property, to the tune of $1.7 million. Then they transferred it into another LLC.
When I finally learned what had happened, I had to file a lawsuit immediately to try to get my land back. I’m still fighting today. So far, I’ve spent more than $400,000 in court fees.
That’s why Company Alarm offers immediate notifications whenever the information on file about your business is changed. I learned – the hard way – that you have to move quickly to stop identity thieves in their tracks.
BUT DON’T JUST TAKE IT FROM ME
I know it could be easy to dismiss my story. I mean, after all, I’m just one man. How widespread could business identity theft be? Hardly anyone talks about it.
Read more here.