Scam on corporations hitting High Country
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
A scam that involves sending official-looking documents to small businesses and requesting a $150 “filing fee” along with the minutes of their corporate meetings has been hitting the High Country.
The letter, which appears to be an official document endorsed by the government, reads “Annual Minutes Disclosure Statement” and cites various orders from the California corporate compliance code.
A section in small print at the bottom indicates: “You are under no obligation to make any payment … This product or service has not been approved or endorsed by any government agency.”
“They make it look so official,” said Cookie Johnson, a recipient of the letter and president of High Country Business Services. “It looks like it’s from the government … It’s just extreme, well printed and well done. But until you read at the very bottom … it’s not endorsed by a government agency.”
The scam comes from a company called Colorado Corporate Compliance, a real company located in Denver that received an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau, according to Barbara Read, the watchdog agency’s vice president for communications for northern Colorado.
The company avoids legal problems through the fine print, although the BBB officially has referred to it as a scam, Read said.
Johnson said she has received several concerned calls from clients and has advised them not to respond or send in any money.
“You know, many companies are very busy, and they just open the mail and see what it is … ,” she said. “It’s just going to fool a lot of people.”
Versions of the letter offer various mailing addresses throughout Colorado for payments; Johnson’s letter asked for payments to be sent to an address in Dillon.
That’s a common practice in the scam, Read said.
“Sometimes they will have individuals who are also scammed, and the company will hire them to do the faxing or mailing or collect money and turn it into the main office,” she said.
Read also said the best way to avoid being scammed is simply to read the fine print carefully and, if questions arise, call the BBB at (800) 564-0371.
Jonathan Batuello can be reached at (970) 668-4653 or email@example.com.
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