Records scam targeting Tennessee small businesses - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Records scam targeting Tennessee small businesses

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(WMC TV) - The Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South and the Tennessee Secretary of State confirmed a mailing that appears to be a corporate tax notice from a company named Corporate Records Service is actually a fraud.

The mailings are sent from a Nashville, TN post office box. The envelope looks official, with baiting language like "Important" and "Annual Minutes Requirement Statement."

The form inside the mailer references portions of Tennessee law concerning the rules of holding meetings and keeping minutes. It implores small business owners to fill out the form and send $125.

Don't do it. Destroy it.

"Corporate Records Service is requesting a $125 fee. The state's standard fee to file a corporation annual report in Tennessee is only $20," said Blake Fontenay, communications director for the Tennessee Secretary of State's office.

"We can confirm that Corporate Records Service is not a business entity on file with our office," said Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett. "I strongly advise corporations to exercise caution before providing their private and confidential information, including credit card information, to this or any company that is representing itself in this manner."

"There are disclosures on the envelope and the form stating that it's not a government document and that Corporate Records Service is not a government agency," said the BBB in a news release. "However, some recipients won't notice them or understand that the service is not required by the state."

The BBB's rules on solicitations like these:

· Ignore solicitations from Corporate Records Service. They are fraudulent.

· Beware of similar mailings such as those peddling labor related notices that are required to be posted in the workplace and those targeting homeowners by implying that they must order a copy of their deed.

· No matter how official they look, don't assume such mailings are from the government. Read them carefully and look for disclosures. When in doubt, contact the BBB or the government agency the letters reference.

· Be particularly wary if they require a hefty fee.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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