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By Cynthia Rignanese
Contributing Writer 

A New Bad Guy is in Town and Hitting Businesses - One Free, Easy Step to Take


Last updated 6/16/2019 at 10:02am

Attorney Cynthia Crofoot Rignanese

As a business and estate planning lawyer, I have represented Lake Wales and Polk County residents and businesses for nearly 30 years. I find that local residents have a misperception that identity theft only hits individuals.

Thieves are targeting businesses like yours for quick and easy profit, with devastating consequences. With consistent survey estimates of 8 to 12 million identity theft victims annually, there is no question that criminals have found consumer identity theft to be easy, low-risk, and very lucrative. In fact, the combination of low risk and large profit is so attractive to criminals that the U.S. Department of Justice has reported that identity theft has become the #1 for profit crime in the United States.

Criminals now have their sights set on businesses of all sizes!

Thieves have learned that businesses also have identities that can be stolen, and unsuspecting businesses can be very easy targets. To criminals, business identity theft means the potential for even more easy money and goods than with individuals.

To be clear, business identity theft is not an information security breach, or an incident involving the loss or theft of confidential consumer information that a business may possess. Rather, like its consumer crime counterpart, business identity theft involves the actual impersonation of the business itself. It can occur through the theft or misuse of key business identifiers and credentials, manipulation or falsification of business filings and records, and other related criminal activities intended to derive illicit gain to the detriment of the victimized business; and, to defraud creditors and suppliers, financial institutions, the business' owners and officers, unsuspecting consumers, and even the government.

There is one EASY FREE STEP you can take to decrease your risk! The next time you file your annual report with the Florida Secretary of State (, ask for your FEI/EIN Number to be removed!

Cynthia C. Rignanese of Rignanese & Associates is available to work with clients and businesses to avoid pitfalls. We can save your business time, trouble and money. Please reach out to us at 863.294.1114 or via our website at

© 2019 Cynthia Rignanese


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