State of California
California business identity theft information and state-specific resources to protect California businesses and business owners, & guidance to help you report and recover from business ID theft
Protect your personal credit and identity, and find additional California state-specific information for personal identity theft protection
Learn about business identity theft, how it happens, and ways to protect your California business & reduce your risks
Report business identity theft to law enforcement and appropriate California government agencies, & get assistance in resolving your case
©Copyright 2012-2013 by Identity Theft Protection Association. All rights reserved.
Note: These resources are specifically designed to address personal identity theft prevention and incidents of consumer identity theft. Because most state and federal identity theft and consumer protection laws are designed to protect individual consumers, businesses generally do not enjoy the same rights, protections, and potential recourse as consumers. Therefore, while helpful in addressing many issues that you may face as an individual, be aware that consumer identity theft information may not be applicable to an incident of business identity theft or fraud.
California Office of Privacy Protection website (for personal protection)
California DMV: "How to replace a lost or stolen driver license or ID card"
California ID Theft Registry
California's Identity Theft Data Base was established to help victims of identity theft who have been wrongfully accused or associated with crimes. If you have been charged with a crime committed by another person using your stolen identity or if your identity has been mistakenly associated with a record of criminal conviction, you can register to enter your name into the Identity Theft Data Base.
California ID Theft Registry website
Business identity thieves often use the identity information (and credit) of the business owner or company officers to open new accounts, or as guarantors of fraudulent loans and lines of credit. In addition to taking actions to protect your business, it is also important to protect yourself as well. This section provides detailed explanations of important consumer credit protection tools that are available to help protect your personal credit from identity thieves.
Use the links below to learn what these tools are, how they work, and how to use them to help protect your personal credit.
Tools & Resources to Protect Your Personal Credit:
If your business does not regularly review your state business filings, file your annual reports in a timely manner, or enroll in email alerts or other preventative systems that may be offered by your state, you may unknowingly attract the unwanted attention of business identity thieves.
To protect your business from identity theft, update your business filings as soon as any of your business contact information changes and check your business’ filings with the California Secretary of State’s office at least once a year. The office provides online search features that make it easy to check and verify that your company records on file are accurate and up-to-date. You should immediately notify your local law enforcement authorities of any unauthorized changes and update your Secretary of State business filings with the correct information. Be sure to get a certified copy of the fraudulent filing before updating your filings with the Secretary of State’s office. The certified copy of the wrong filing may be used as evidence in court.
California Secretary of State Business ID Theft web page
Business identity thieves can manipulate or falsify business credit records and then use these to impersonate your business, or as a part of a fraud scheme to target your business. To combat this, you should periodically review your business credit reports and the information that is being reported.
Contact the business credit reporting agencies:
In California, if your state business records have been fraudulently changed or updated, contact the California Secretary of State Business Programs Division and review the information on the Secretary of State's website. Division contact information is provided below.
Please note that you should only contact the California Secretary of State Business Programs Division for business identity theft incidents involving fraudulent business records.
All other types of business identity theft incidents and related fraud should be reported directly to law enforcement. Also review the Business Identity Theft Victim Action List for other important steps to take.
California enacted its own state law establishing the availability of credit security freezes for its citizens. The three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) have also voluntarily made security freezes available to all California state citizens. Innovis voluntarily allows consumers in all states to freeze their Innovis credit files.
Eligibility: All consumers
Credit Security Freeze Fees: Per credit bureau. To be effective, you should place a freeze at each credit bureau
• No cost for confirmed identity theft victims (with a copy of a police report)
• All others must pay $10.00 to place a new freeze, to temporarily lift the freeze, or to remove it entirely. The fee is reduced to $5.00 for residents 65 or older.
• There is a $12.00 fee to temporarily lift the freeze for a specific company
• The freeze will remain in place until you remove it
To Place a Credit Security Freeze in California:
• Experian security freeze website
• Equifax security freeze website
• TransUnion security freeze website
• Innovis security freeze website
In California, if your business is a victim of business identity theft, you should report the crime to your local law enforcement agency. In the case of fraudulent business filings, the California Secretary of State Business Programs Division may also report or escalate to law enforcement as appropriate.
Also review the Business Identity Theft Victim Action List for other important steps to take.
State of California - Office of the Attorney General
California Attorney General website
CA. AG Public Inquiry Unit phone: (916) 322-3360