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We are lawyers who understand business and offer creative, constructive and practical advice, whatever your venture. Many of our clients are commercially minded including individuals, property developers, investors and house builders. In addition, we act for various Local Government departments and Housing Associations.
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Companies - Identity Theft
Clients who operate through the mechanism of a limited company should be aware of a method by which the identity of the company can be stolen and then be used for fraudulent purposes.
The problem is that anyone can easily find out details of the registered office and number of the company from the Companies House website and can obtain copies of the forms signed by the current directors consenting to act. With this information a fraudster can lodge new forms (apparently signed by the existing directos), change the registered office and confirm the replacement of the existing directors. That will then enable him to open a new bank account, empty the existing bank account and order goods that are never paid for.
To combat this Compnies House offer two services:-
1. Monitor - you can be notified by email of any documents filed. This service costs 50p per annum.
2. Proof - once a company has signed up for this service Companies House will only accept statutory forms relating to changes of address and directors by the electronic filing services (which requires passwords etc).
We would advise all our corporate clients to adopt one or other of these schemes to avoid any risk of identity theft.