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New Colo. website hopes to stop business identity theft

12:18 AM, Jan 26, 2012   |    comments
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9NEWS started covering this story in 2010 when we discovered a security hole in the secretary of state website. Criminals were hijacking the companies and later using them to obtain large credit lines, using detailed information that was available from the website.

"What would happen is people would change information on the secretary of state's website and that would be part of a scheme to hijack identity of a company," Secretary of State Scott Gessler told 9NEWS. "And then they would use that company's name and credit to order goods and things like that to defraud vendors, to defraud companies who are selling things, then the bad guys would take delivery of the equipment, would disappear and the Colorado company would be left holding the bag."

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation said more than 70 Colorado companies have been victimized.

On Wednesday, the secretary of state's office launched "Secure Business Filings," a free, password-protection program.

"What it's going to enable people to do is protect their personal company information that's online that no one can tamper with it," Gessler said. "It stops the crooks right in their tracks from being able to change information online, and it will help stop this kind of a crime."

The program cost a little over $80,000. He says it is easy for businesses to sign up.

"If you're a new company, when you register your company, you can get a password at that time. If you already have a registered business, you can ask for a security code - they'll send you a code in the mail," Gessler said.

He says it's completely worth it considering how many millions the businesses in Colorado were losing in fraud.

Gessler says this program is the first of its kind in the country.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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