Beware of solicitations masquerading as government correspondence! Unscrupulous operators are sending misleading, official-looking letters to businesses in many states asserting that the business must pay a hefty fee for certificates, filings and other compliance services that they may not need. Many times they mislead a company into mistakenly changing its registered agent.
The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are working together to combat these deceptive practices and have recently released briefings describing the scams and how to avoid falling prey.
We want to assist their efforts by spreading the word and providing the following helpful tips:
1. Be aware of the three most common types of misleading solicitations as reported by NASS:
- Reporting Requirement Solicitations
- Certificate of Status Solicitations
- Annual Minutes Solicitations
2. Read the fine print, look for statements like: “This is not a governmental agency”
3. Be especially vigilant when receiving correspondence from the following companies that NASS has identified as senders of misleading solicitations:
- Business Compliance Division
- Business Services Division
- CT Certificate Service
- Georgia Certificate Service
- Workplace Compliance Services & Filing Labor Compliance
4. Review corporate officer, registered agent, and address information on prepopulated forms to look for suspicious changes
If you spot a scam, alert the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. When in doubt, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll help you chunk that junk and get on with your day.