Friday, July 11, 2008

Beware the Corporate Report Form Scam

I just got a form in the mail from the "Board of Corporate Compliance". It had places for me to fill in the names and addresses of officers and directors and indicated that a fee of $125 was due. This form looked a lot like what you get from various states' Secretaries of State for annual reporting and information updates as a foreign corporation, and I can see how a business might just add it to the pile of forms and fees that they expect to pay to the various states in which they are qualified to do business.

I had just filled out something very similar for California for several companies, including the one the form was addressed to, so I was suspicious. On closer inspection, it appeared that the form was a solicitation from a company that would prepare minutes with the ionformation provided for the indicated fee. It had quotes from the California statutes and stressed the importance of keeping accurate corporate records. Also, the "Board" was in Los Angeles and not Sacramento.

It turns out that the form was a scam. It was obviously designed to look like a government form in the hope that unsuspecting companies would fill it out and pay the fee. While it doesn't outright claim to be a government form, I reckon I could make out a pretty good case for fraud if I were still a prosecutor.

1 comment:

furf said...

I just received the same notice here in NY. Must be a relatively new scam since you're the only search result on Google.

The dead giveaway was their oversight of the verbiage "STATE CORPORATE COMPLIANCE HAS NO AFFILIATION WITH THE OFFICE OF THE FLORIDA SECRETARY OF STATE".

I wouldn't imagine a New York State office would have anything to do with the Florida Secretary of State.