CORPORATE TRANSACTIONS & COMPLIANCE BLOG

Beware of New “Council for Corporations” Corporate Compliance Scam

By: Jill Corbett, COGENCY GLOBAL INC. on Mon, Jan 05, 2015

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In one of our previous blogs, “Get Educated and Don’t Fall for Corporate Compliance Scams!” we informed you of various misleading corporate compliance solicitations that are circulating across the United States. These scams often appear to be official and commonly have labels such as “Annual Corporate Records Form” or “Annual Minutes Form.” Most of them include a small disclaimer stating that the entities sending these solicitations are NOT government agencies. In addition, these types of misleading solicitations ask the recipient to pay a fee, often for services not needed or required.

A New Multistate Scam is Circulating

Throughout the past year, we have seen many instances of the same scam being sent by the same company in different states.  One of the companies sending these solicitations, whose name comes up again and again in different states, is called Corporate Records Service. We are now aware of a similar multistate scam circulating around the country. The company sending the solicitations uses the state of business as the first part of its name, followed by “Council for Corporations” (for example, Tennessee Council for Corporations, Georgia Council for Corporations). According to the Virginia State Corporation Commission, the address of the “Virginia Council for Corporations” is identical to the address for Corporate Records Service.[1]

Like the solicitations from Corporate Records Service, these solicitations ask for recipients to fill out an “Annual Records Form” and mail in a payment of $125. Several Secretary of State websites have already posted warnings about these scams and we anticipate many others will follow suit as they become aware of this new scam in their state.

What to Do If You Suspect You Have Been Scammed

We continue to maintain a Misleading Annual Report and Compliance Solicitations page on our website. We welcome you to visit this page and compare your solicitations to the information we have on scams in each state. In addition, please reach out to us if you are unable to determine the legitimacy of a notice and do not see it listed on our website. Simply send an e-mail to info@cogencyglobal.com with a copy of the solicitation attached and we will happily review the document and confirm its authenticity.

If you determine that you have been scammed and have sent payment to the scammers, we recommend you reach out to the Corporations Division of the appropriate state filing office(s) or the state’s Attorney General. These offices have been helpful in assisting victims of these scams in obtaining refunds of the fees paid. Several states have also taken legal action against these scamming entities. It is our hope that by continuing to keep our readers informed of these types of misleading corporate compliance solicitations, they will not fall victim to them.

[1] See warning from Virginia State Corporation Commission

 

This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered, or relied upon, as legal advice.

Topics: Annual Report Compliance