Scam warning issued

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The Secretary of State's Office will host a news conference Thursday to alert businesses to fraudulent activities that could rob their businesses of their credit ratings and cost them a bunch of money.

Here's the warning:

From the office of the Colorado Secretary of State:

Recently, we learned of a new criminal scheme targeting our business community. So far, there have been a handful of cases in Colorado but the damage to victim business' commercial credit and the losses to affected retailers and banks are significant.

The crime involves thieves that manipulate the records on the Secretary of State's office. These corporate identity thieves change the businesses' registered agent's information and addresses in order to imply that they have a legitimate stake in the company or may act as an agent of the business. They use this maliciously altered information along with other records to apply for lines of credit from major retailers. Before the company realizes what has happened, it starts to receive calls from debt collectors and suffers damage to its credit report.

We need your help in combating this growing crime by alerting your members and the leaders in your community. The most immediate way for business owners to insulate themselves from becoming a victim is to learn about how this crime is committed. Next, they need to sign up for the Secretary of State's e-mail notification service for their business or businesses. Then, as soon as any change is made to their records, they will be immediately alerted by the Secretary of State's office when someone changes their records online without their knowledge. These alerts will allow businesses to take quick action to help stop the crime before any real damage is done and provide law enforcement time to take action.

Finally, we will be hosting a press conference on Thursday, July 15, 2010, at 3 p.m. at the Attorney General's office. We certainly wanted to provide you with this information first and invite you to participate in that event. If you're interested in attending and want to learn more about this issue, please contact us at (303) 860-6903 or visit our web site www.ProtectYourBusiness.us. Additionally, if any of your members believe their companies have been victims of corporate identity theft, contact any local law enforcement agency or CBI-Denver Identity Theft Unit, 303-239-4211.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Bernie Buescher
Colorado Secretary of State

John Suthers
Colorado Attorney General

Don Childears
Colorado Bankers Association

Ron Sloan
Colorado Department of Public Safety

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