Secretary Kemp said, “The business identity theft white paper is an invaluable resource for state officials, financial institutions, business owners, consumer advocates and law enforcement agencies at all levels of government who are seeking solutions to prevent and prosecute theft and fraud.”
The business identity theft white paper was drafted following the October, 2011 NASS Business Identity Theft Forum, which was hosted by Kemp in Atlanta. Attendees included 20 Secretaries of State, representatives from financial institutions and consumer advocate organizations, and representatives from federal, state and local government, including the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force, the Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection and the Georgia Technology Authority.
At the forum, Kemp served as a panelist for a discussion on how to assist victims of identity theft. He spoke about Georgia’s efforts to implement e-government solutions to combat business identification theft, raise awareness among business owners and financial institutions about this growing criminal activity and work with law enforcement agencies to help prosecute those responsible for theft and fraud.
Secretary Kemp added, “Identity thieves are becoming more pervasive and sophisticated. All stakeholders must work in concert and proactively to impede this rapidly escalating global criminal activity.”
One of Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s first acts in office was to implement an e-government solution in his agency’s Corporations Division which requires all corporate entities that form or renew online to provide at least one email address.
The requirement to provide an email address serves three purposes. It greatly reduces the time Georgia’s businesses spend on paperwork, significantly reduces costs to Georgia’s taxpayers and deters business identity theft and fraud.
A notification is sent to every address associated with the corporate entity every time a change is made to any field. The notification asks each entity contact with an address on file to review the entity’s information, and ensure that the changed information is authorized and correct.
Further, a backup security feature permanently stores every email address added to an entity’s record. This feature ensures that a person who attempts fraud cannot delete email addresses to block receipt of the notifications by the rightful entity contact.
The primary manner in which the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office assists victims of business identity theft and fraud is by quickly sending information directly to federal, state and local law enforcement investigators and the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection, who use the documents we provide to prosecute fraud.
We are usually able to provide documents within 12-24 hours after a request is made to our Investigations office. We have worked with law enforcement agencies in other states, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the FBI to assist with information requests.
To increase education about this growing threat we also launched a Corporate ID Theft Resources website (http://sos.ga.gov/corporations/idtheft.htm). Georgia businesses can learn how to protect themselves from identity theft, and the best steps to take if they have become an identity theft victim.
Founded in 1904, the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) is the oldest nonpartisan, professional association of public officials in the United States. Members include the 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa and Puerto Rico. NASS serves as a medium for the exchange of information between states and fosters cooperation in the development of public policy. The association has key initiatives in the areas of elections and voting, state business services and digital archiving, as well as several well-established awards programs.
Brian Kemp has been Secretary of State since January 2010. Among the office’s wide-ranging responsibilities, the Secretary of State is charged with conducting efficient and secure elections, the registration of corporations, and the regulation of securities and professional license holders. The office also oversees the Georgia Archives