State of Ohio
Ohio business identity theft information and state-specific resources to protect Ohio businesses and business owners, & guidance to help you report and recover from business ID theft
Protect your personal credit and identity, and find additional Ohio state-specific information for personal identity theft protection
Learn about business identity theft, how it happens, and ways to protect your Ohio business & reduce your risks
Report business identity theft to law enforcement and appropriate Ohio 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.
Ohio Attorney General identity theft website (for personal protection)
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.
The Ohio Secretary of State’s office provides a free, easy-to-use filing notification system that allows businesses to track any changes and updates to business filings with our office. Businesses or individuals need only submit an email address and business charter, registration or license number for each filing, which can be found through a simple online business search at www.OhioSecretaryofState.gov. Once subscribed to the service, an email will be sent automatically the day after any document is filed. The email will serve as notification of all changes to that business record. All Ohio companies are encouraged to sign up for the Secretary of State’s business filing notification system as an added layer of defense in protecting themselves against business identity theft.
Under Ohio law, the Secretary of State’s office is prohibited from accepting a business owner’s Social Security Number as a requirement for filing to do business. This safeguard, as well as the Ohio Secretary of State’s filing notification system, assists businesses and their owners against the threat of business identity theft.
Ohio Secretary of State Business Identity Theft website
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 Ohio, if your state business records have been fraudulently changed or updated, contact the Ohio Secretary of State Business Services Division to report and correct fraudulent business filings. Contact information is provided below.
Please note that you should only contact the Ohio Secretary of State Business Services Division for business identity theft incidents involving fraudulent business records. For such incidents, the Division may also report or escalate to law enforcement as appropriate.
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.
Ohio 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 Ohio 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 to place a freeze (with a copy of police or DMV report)
• All others must pay $5.00 to place a freeze, to temporarily lift the freeze, or to remove it entirely
• There is a $5.00 fee for replacement PINs, if needed
• The freeze will remain in place until you remove it
To Place a Credit Security Freeze in Ohio:
• Experian security freeze website
• Equifax security freeze website
• TransUnion security freeze website
• Innovis security freeze website
In Ohio, if your business is a victim of business identity theft, you should report the crime to your local law enforcement agency. In some cases, you may also file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Section of the Office of the Ohio Attorney General.
In the case of fraudulent business filings, the Ohio Secretary of State Business Services Division may also report or escalate to law enforcement as appropriate.
Be certain to also review the Business Identity Theft Victim Action List for other important steps to take.
Office of the Ohio Attorney General
Ohio Attorney General website
File a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General
Ohio AG Help Center phone: Toll-free: (800) 282-0515 or Local: (614) 466-4986
Ohio Department of Public Safety
Ohio Department of Public Safety website