Scam targets businesses with official looking claimA new business scam has hit Wisconsin, packaged in a green envelope. When Debbie Ronding with RE/MAX 1 in Superior got the letter, which offers to prepare and provide corporate minutes that meet Wisconsin statute, she was suspicious.
By: Superior Telegram, Superior Telegram
A new business scam has hit Wisconsin, packaged in a green envelope.
When Debbie Ronding with RE/MAX 1 in Superior got the letter, which offers to prepare and provide corporate minutes that meet Wisconsin statute, she was suspicious.
“I’d never seen it before,” she said. So she called the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions and found out it was a scam.
The department is urging Wisconsin business owners to exercise caution if they receive a request for information from a company called Corporate Records Service, according to a release at www.wdfi.org. Business owners are asked to fill out an Annual Minutes Form and submit a fee of $125 to a Madison mail box. Businesses are not required by the state Department of Financial Institutions or any other state agency to complete the form.
“The form has a very official look to it,” said Paul Holzem, administrator of the department’s Division of Corporate and Consumer Services. “It includes information about companies that is available on the department’s website, such as corporation number and incorporation date, that make it appear to be a legitimate request. Business owners should not be hoodwinked into giving out potentially confidential information and paying an unnecessary fee.”
The department has received numerous inquiries from business owners asking whether the form was a new requirement, which is the filing office for Wisconsin businesses.
The form states that Corporate Records Service is offering to assist businesses with maintaining minutes of meetings of shareholders and boards of directors, but does not include any specifics on how the company will supply that service. The form also includes the following statement: “Corporate Records Service is not a government agency and does not have or contract with any government agency to provide this service.”
“Any business that chooses to fill out the form and pay the fee should make sure they will be getting some legitimate service in return,” Holzem said.
Corporate Records Service is not registered with the Department of Financial Institutions. State officials in Maine, Indiana and Tennessee also have warned businesses in their states about the activities of Corporate Records Service.
Business owners who have questions about the form can call 608-266-1622.