Fraudulent Filings

​​​​It is a Class I felony in Wisconsin for a person to knowingly file a false corporate document if the person intends that document to be filed or delivered to the Department of Financial Institutions. The Department reports fraudulent filings to the Department of Justice or local district attorneys for criminal prosecution. See Wis. Stat. sections 178.0120(4), 179.0124(4), 180.0129, 181.0129, 183.0122(4), and 185.825​.


Entity ID Theft

Identity theft is the top ranked for-profit crime in the United States affecting not only individuals but also businesses, with theft losses to businesses amounting to billions of dollars each year.

According to Dun & Bradstreet, the losses to an individual business often reaches the mid-six figures by the time the criminal activity is detected.

Business identity theft is not a security or data breach that leads to the loss of confidential customer data, but it is the “actual impersonation of the business itself", where a criminal poses as the owner, officer, or employee of a business to falsify business records, defraud suppliers and creditors, or fraudulently obtain cash, loans, or tax refunds.

The Department of Financial Institutions is here to help businesses by providing educational resources and offering suggestions on how to monitor your business registrations to guard against identity theft, and information on how to respond if your business becomes a victim.

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Protect Your Business

Take the following initial steps to protect your business from identity theft:

  • Obtain a commercial credit report for your business from one of the three major credit bureaus at: Equifax,   800-685-111; Experian, 800-311-4769; TransUnion, 800-888-4213, or other credit reporting agency.
  • Sign up for electronic notifications with your bank, other creditors, and service providers.
  • Monitor accounts and bills and immediately report any suspicious activity to the originating company.
  • Do not share any sensitive information over email or on any web-based service.
  • Periodically check your business' filings with the DFI.
  • If your business ceases to conduct business, file Articles of Dissolution with the DFI to legally dissolve the entity.

These are your first steps to protecting your business. Your effort should not stop there. For more information on additional steps to protect your business, see Helpful ID Theft Resources.


Are you the victim of a fraudulent filing?

If you believe your business is a victim of identity theft, you should immediately take the following steps to begin the recovery process:

  • Report the theft to your local law enforcement agency and obtain a police report.
  • Report the theft to the FTC.​
  • Contact all of your business' banks or credit providers and report the theft.
  • Contact the credit reporting agencies and speak with the fraud department to report the crime and view your business credit report.
  • Place a fraud alert on your business accounts.
  • Contact creditors where fraudulent accounts were opened, and request copies of all documentation used to open or access the accounts.
  • Contact the US Postal Inspection Service to determine if the criminals changed your mailing address.
  • Check your business' filings with the DFI to determine whether any changes have been made to the information on file that will necessitate the filing of any documents.
  • If a false or fraudulent doc​​ument has been filed to your business entity record, be sure to get a certified copy of the fraudulent filing before updating your records with the DFI. The certified copy of the fraudulent filing may be used as evidence in court.
  • Contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)​.


Helpful ID Theft Resources

Here are some key resources on business ID theft.

Contact Us

Phone: (608) 261-7577
Mailing Address:
Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
Division of Corporate and Consumer Services
PO Box 93348
Milwaukee, WI 53293-0348
Physical Address:
Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
Division of Corporate and Consumer Services
4822 Madison Yards Way, North Tower
Madison, WI 53705