Thursday, May 17, 2018

Small business scam

Well I thought because I take great measures to protect my business from scammers but even I am not immune. I received a mail from a company called the Business Compliance service the language in the mailer was very convincing. They stated I am to file an annual report with the state every year or my company would be closed. The letter was labeled the Business Compliance service so of course I was concerned. Since I had already filed my annual report way before this letter was sent to me so I found it very out of place they would be asking me again for my filing. In very small print it stated “we are not affiliated with the state” so I did some research and apparently there are entities like this posing as legitimate companies attempting to take advantage of small business owners.  I am fortunate that for the most part with few exceptions I file almost all my paperwork with the state but not all business owners have the time to do that so there are a few signs to be aware of when you receive letters like this.

What is very alarming about this type of mailer is that it has a very official looking. You may see FINAL NOTICE or SUSPENSION OF COVERAGE on the mailer. My mailer had the state code on it telling me that an annual report must be filed every 2 years. Other mailers may use stronger language they will say you could face fines if you do not have compliance poster at your location for example. The compliance poster is a very popular scam which targets small business owners. 

However there are very reputable agencies which are in business to help small business keep up with certain compliance requirement but just like with anything else you have to do your homework.
I found that it is very easy to get your business information they may purchase a list from your state registry on newly open business or they may purchase your information form a service provider you use which is why you have to read the fine print on all contracts you sign with other providers you use for your business.

Some warning sign you should look for with any mail you receive about compliance regulations. If there is no address listed on the letter or just a P.O. box, no contact information like a phone number or name, a non-corporate email address or an ask for an upfront charge for any services. If you see this combination of warning signs you should just tear it up and discard it in a secure manner.

I hope this is helpful as always please leave a comment

Mark Carbajal

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