You have probably heard of identity theft. But that only happens to people, right? Wrong. Nonprofits have an identity too and can be victimized by identity theft just like people. The corporate version of the Social Security Number is the employer identification number, and if it’s misused it can do big damage.
Large nonprofits have to be especially careful. They frequently have multiple credit cards with generous credit limits. Obviously these are highly valued by thieves.
The problem isn’t going to stop anytime soon. It is extremely easy to get a nonprofit’s EIN since it’s a public record. It is provided on donor acknowledgment letters and is front and center on the Form 990. Thus, it is particularly important to vigilantly monitor credit card purchases.
To protect your organization, make sure the accounting department regularly monitors all credit card charges. This is easily done online. Some card issuers even have advanced verification options to inform you of unusual charges. If a fraudulent charge is noticed, or if a credit card has been lost or stolen, immediately notify the card issuer. It will cancel the card and issue a new one (often with free overnight delivery).