Linking your company’s positive payments to your D&B® report can boost your credibility by as much as 90%, but attempting to do so through a non-verifiable transaction or “trade ring” vendor can be devastating to your business credit profile. If the transaction or vendor cannot be verified by D&B®, this could bring your profile under unnecessary scrutiny and could harm both businesses — possibly embroiling you and your business in extensive, and expensive, legal battles.
Can your trade references clear the rings of fire and get added to your credit profile without your company getting burned?
Adding vendors and suppliers can be extremely beneficial, but each of these references will need to undergo a multi-step validation before even being considered as a possible candidate. D&B® looks very closely at any potential trade references to make sure they will pass all stages of the validation process. They will check a variety of factors — from their industry, to their physical location, to their own D&B® report status — even delving into your vendor’s state or federal documentation. D&B® does this because it is their job to ensure any data they input into your report correctly reflects true payment habits, since this is the basis for any additional credit lines others may extend to you.
Oftentimes, business owners who have no credit history will ask friends or relatives to manufacture positive payment experiences in an attempt to portray non-existent credit limits, thinking this will help them to achieve higher approvals or build their credit profile faster. These fraudulent attempts seldom make it through D&B®’s tight net. Most will get declined in the preliminary processes and go no further.
D&B®, however, does not just blindly discard the information they have just attained in the process. They hold onto every little tidbit they have learned as part of their extensive data gathering network, and then watch for patterns or trends among vendors or vendor types. They draw parallels between these businesses and their clients. If these parallels begin to trend toward activity that could be perceived as fraudulent, D&B® may investigate further to see if these businesses are acting as a “trade ring” for each other.
Trade rings are companies who provide false or inflated credit histories about their friends, relatives, colleagues, or business associations in an effort to portray a rosy image of an otherwise not-so-impressive picture. They will do this for a number of businesses within a certain circle, whether that circle encompasses just a few close friends or a hundred or more associates. They can do this in many ways, but few are successful. There have been companies who qualify as a viable vendor who boast of an ability to provide a positive payment history to D&B® “for a nominal fee”.
There are people who form multiple businesses solely for the purpose of reporting good credit from one to another.