Big Four partner the latest victim of identity theft fraud

The crisis surrounding identity theft deepened this week, as it emerged that
fraudsters had stolen the identity of a Big Four partner in a bid to
authenticate accounts filed at Companies House.

The partner concerned remains unidentified, but his identity was passed off
as the director of a small company, according to ICAEW head of business law
Felicity Banks.

Banks was taking part in an Accountancy Age Insider Business Club
webcast when she revealed the extent to which criminals will go to in order to
create a respectable front for their scams.

‘He was identified as a director of a small fraudulent company and he had
huge problems getting these records corrected,’ Banks said.

Last September, credit ratings agency Graydon found that in more than 100
cases, audit firms’ identities were being used illegitimately.

Banks said that, although Companies House should be able to track changes to
directors’ details in the future, the profession has so far failed to persuade
the DTI to make this necessary for audit firms as well.

The Big Four were reticent about this example of identify theft. A
PricewaterhouseCoopers’ spokeswoman said the firm ‘would not know’ about the
issue, as partners would tackle it through their institutes.

Companies House said that, under current law, it was unable to monitor
changes to company details, and there were no plans to monitor audit firms’

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