How to Avoid Corporate Mail Scams

This is my first experience with blogging so bear with me as I learn what I’m doing.

I want to talk this first time about the corporate mail scam that is becoming so prevalent these days. Because individuals with Corporations and Limited Liability Corporations are busy running their companies, they are often not particularly familiar with the forms and documents that are required to be filed annually to maintain their good standing with the state. This provides an incredible opportunity for unscrupulous people to take advantage of the situation.

Official looking documents are prepared and sent to lists of companies with formal sounding names such as “Corporate Compliance Center,” “Board of Minutes and Resolutions” and “California Corporate Compliance.” The document implies that if you do not complete the form and return it with the fees stated your entity will lose its good standing in the state.

Individuals who are trying their best to ensure they comply with the legal requirements in their state are seduced into completing the form and returning it with the $125 fee. One of two things then happens. Either the scam artist takes the money and disappears or they take the information provided on the form and change the company’s Registered Agent for Service of Process with the state to themselves. The Registered Agent service is something that is billed annually and often the company that was scammed doesn’t realize the change was made until a year later when they receive an invoice for services from the new company. It can be expensive and time consuming in many states to change the Registered Agent back.

This is a very frustrating scheme because the forms look very official and it is so easy for people to be lured in even when they have been warned to be on the look out. It’s hard to track down the offending company because they don’t include phone numbers or if they do the number goes to a machine that doesn’t even allow a message to be left.

The USPS is looking into this scam as well as several Attorney General offices in various states, but that's always a slow process and new variations keep appearing regularly.

Let me know if you or someone you know has run into these scams. We can help you identify if the documents you have received are legitimate and if you’ve already been scammed, we can help you change back to the Registered Agent of your choice.

I’d love to find a way to use blogging to help people avoid these problems. Let’s share ideas.

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