Government & Politics  February 3, 2023

SOS adds tool to website to combat fraud

DENVER — The Colorado Secretary of State has added a new tool to its website to allow residents to report fraudulent business filings.

The resource was launched Feb. 1. It allows people to report when someone has:

  • Formed a new business fraudulently using someone else’s address or personal information.
  • Taken over a legitimate business filing in an attempt to leverage it for fraud.

“This new resource provides protections for hard-working Colorado business owners from the increasing threat of business identity theft, while cutting red tape,” Jena Griswold, secretary of state, said in a written statement.

Fraud reports are referred to the Attorney General’s Office for investigation. If the investigation determines the business filing to be fraudulent, the Secretary of State’s Office will then redact victim information and flag the record as suspected fraudulent activity.

“Fraudulent business filings with the state can cause significant harm and inconvenience to legitimate business owners, and these types of filings are often made in order to commit other fraud and crimes. My office is committed to working with the Secretary of State’s office to crack down on business identity theft using this new state law,” Attorney General Phil Weiser said.

The process was created by the Combating Business Identity Theft Act (SB22-034). Business identity theft is a crime in which, for example, thieves use a business’s identity to establish lines of credit with banks or retailers. With these lines of credit, the identity thieves often then buy items that can be exchanged for cash or sold with relative ease. The damage can be devastating to the victim business, with credit history damage or denial of credit leading to operational problems, the SOS said in the statement. 

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