A few days ago, the UK government has revealed the changes to the Companies House act that will help the authorities prevent identity theft focused on businesses in the United Kingdom. According to the government, the UK business register will no longer ask company directors to reveal their home addresses publicly.
Those who are interested in running a business in the United Kingdom have to register with UK Companies House. In this process, the applicant has to provide personal information about all the directors and partners as well as information about their annual accounts.
However, the Companies House acts as a public portal which can be accessed by anyone. This means that any person can look for information associated with specific firms. In this way, the public can get useful information without sending requests to the Companies House. Unfortunately, in the last few years, many hackers have used this opportunity to perform identity theft causing serious losses to many companies.
Identity theft has become a rising problem in this digital world that we live in. hackers can get sensitive information with cyber data breaches and scam emails. In addition, criminals are sometimes gathering thrown documents and papers in order to find personal information about certain people. The reason is simple – they are interested in stealing people’s identity. When we say personal and sensitive information we mean things like full name, home and business addresses In electronic and physical form, gender, dates of birth, phone numbers and other information that can be used to steal someone’s identity.
A criminal familiar with social engineering can also take loans on the behalf of the victim, purchase things and get a business loan. It turns out that these fraudsters and scammers can be quite inventive and creative when it comes to identity theft.
What is really interesting and troublesome at the same time is that company directors in the United Kingdom have greater chances of becoming victims of a crime like this compared to other people. About 20% of cases of identity theft involve company directors. One of the main reasons for this is the requirement that was set by the Companies House. As we already said, the directors have to share their personal information with the Companies House and they are making this info available to the public.
With the new law, every director will have a chance to remove their personal physical address from the register. Of course, they will still have to provide this address, but it will be kept secret by the Companies House. According to the government, this move will make company directors feel safer and it will encourage people to start more new companies.
In the past, the only way for someone to remove his personal address from the register was to provide evidence that he is at risk of intimidation or violence. With the latest changes, every company director will have the right to keep the personal address hidden from the public.