Companies should develop sophisticated strategies to counter the threat posed by business hijackers, according to Experian®, the global information services company.

news release

 

Company hijacking risk can, and should, be averted

Companies should develop sophisticated strategies to counter the threat posed by business hijackers, according to Experian®, the global information services company. 

 “Businesses are most vulnerable to hijack when they change their directors,” Glen Bals, senior executive, business information at Experian South Africa. “It is vital for firms to understand and monitor the commercial credit profiles of both suppliers and customers in order to mitigate this risk.”

He says large, well-known corporations are often the targets of hijackers.

Bals points out that companies are often content with the basic checks, which consider whether the company director has signed the appropriate documentation and whether the director in question is on file at the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC, the old CIPRO).

 “If the answers are in the affirmative, the application is approved. Yet it can happen that when the individual who has granted the application looks again, the hijacker has clandestinely resigned all the directors.”

Bals says while CIPC might have the necessary controls in place, such controls only go so far.

“If you make the rules too strict companies cannot change any of their directors.” He acknowledges that in order to change its directors a company requires a board resolution, certified copies of all ID books, and other related criteria.

“Professional fraudsters are generally able to lay their hands on those documents and there’s no way you can expect the CIPC to pick it up.”

Bals recommends that businesses monitor the directors of the company in question in order to mitigate the risk of business hijack, an exercise that can be conducted by credit reference agencies, most of which undertake to furnish alerts when the directors of a defined company or companies change.

Experian, says Bals, issues email alerts to advise of board changes, noting that previously it conducted such monitoring exercises from a creditors’ point of view.

“Now it’s becoming important for companies to do so for anti-fraud purposes. Ultimately, companies need to monitor business information to spot the first signs of trouble.”

ENDS

 

Contact:

Natasha Horwitz

Experian South Africa

011 799 3400

Natasha.Horwitz@experian.co.za

 

Jonathan Mahapa

Meropa Communications

+27 11 506 7333

JonathanM@meropa.co.za

 

 

 

About Experian
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 80 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2011 was US$4.2 billion. Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 41 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil. 


For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com.



 

News release

 

Avoid credit heartburn…check your credit status

Johannesburg, 22 November 2012 – Analysts are predicting festive season sales to be brisk this December, but consumers should double check their credit rating before spending big this festive season a leading information services company has warned.

Experian South Africa says consumers should be armed with all the necessary information to ensure they have access to the funds they need, but to also prevent them from overspending.

Professional services group Adcorp is expecting “a strong seasonal peak” in employment between November 2012 and February next year mainly as a result of a “resilient” retail sector.

Loane Sharp, Adcorp’s labour economist, this week observed: “The retail sector is doing strikingly well and all of the sectors that are connected to consumer spending, like transport and logistics, and food and clothing manufacturing, should do very well this festive season.”

It is against this background that Michelle Beetar, Managing Director at Experian South Africa, urges consumers to check out their current credit report before they start thinking about spending. “Your credit history needs to be in good shape to allow you to secure credit and you need to be fully aware of your status and your limits,” she cautions.

Beetar encourages consumers to take advantage of the free annual service provided by the credit bureaus as prescribed by the National Credit Act, giving consumers the right to access their credit reports once a year at no cost.

The service is available online and call centre agents are invariably on hand at the bureaus; agents who are trained to assist consumers to better understand their reports and advise them on possible courses of action for remedying any uncertain or negative information.

Beetar also debunks the myth that South African credit bureaus maintain blacklists.

“Because bureaus record both positive as well as negative credit information submitted by credit providers, it is impossible to maintain a one-sided negative report.”

She advises that consumers have the right to dispute the data contained in their reports should they feel the information is incorrect.

“The onus is then on the bureau to investigate that data and to remove it from the consumer’s record should credible evidence exist in support of that information not being accurate.”

Beetar earnestly encourages consumers to take advantage of their right to access their personal credit reports, partly with a view to ensuring they can access the credit they need  and partly as a reminder that untoward spending could well result in credit heartburn further down the line.

ENDS

Contact:

Natasha Horwitz

Experian South Africa

011 799 3400

Natasha.Horwitz@experian.co.za

 

Jonathan Mahapa

Meropa Communications

+27 11 506-7333

JonathanM@meropa.co.za

 

Footnote

To access your Experian credit report online and sign-up to receive credit report updates by sms and email, please visit www.creditexpert.co.za . For queries on your Experian credit report please contact Experian Consumer Relations on 0861 10 56 65.

 

About Experian

Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2012 was US$4.5 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 44 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.


For more information, visit
http://www.experianplc.com .

 

 

 

 

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