Greensboro, NC -- We've all heard of identity theft. It can be devastating: turn someone's entire life upside down and leave them helpless.
Now imagine that happening - not to an individual - but a small, local business.
Your business owners told News 2 it happened to them and they want to warn others to be careful; one of them, Greg Flury of ABC Roofing.
He says he was recently victimized and is still trying to wrap his head around it.
Flury estimates this encounter cost him thousands of dollars.
"There was one month where I estimated that we lost probably around $100,000 in business," he said.
The Greensboro business owner says, by chance, one day he Googled his own company.
"I noticed one of the phone numbers was an 866 phone number. And i knew that we had never has any toll-free phone numbers."
So he called the number.
In the 15-minute recorded call, you can hear a representative tells Flury, "ABC Roofing is not taking on that kind of job or taking on work right now."
Flury says he was speechless, "I was like, 'what?'."
Then he called again, the number listed for his business and they tried to sell him on another roofer.
"I do have other providers in that area that is available," you can hear the representative tell Flury.
"I was beside myself. I just couldn't believe it," Flury told News 2, visibly exasperated.
In his research, Flury also found that the link to his website was redirecting to another company.
"All their doing is taking money from our pockets and in such an underhanded way that i might never have realized it if I hadn't discovered it by accident," he said.
Like three of his other industry colleagues who say they too were recently victimized, it took several calls and weeks before Flury was able to correct the false information.
Business identity theft has become such a problem that the North Carolina secretary of state now co-chairs a new task forced focused solely on it.
One expert says it's not unusual for businesses to lose hundreds or thousands of dollars by the time they realize they've been duped.
According to National Association of Secretary of States, there many ways business identity theft can happen.
Click on the link below to find out how to spot it, address it and protect: BusinessIDTheft.org