Government Doppelganger Costs Businesses $125

Government doppelganger

Government fees and taxes are a part of conducting business in every nation around the world. It’s such a regular part of doing business in fact that some scam artists are preying on lawful business owners who want to do the right thing.

A recent scam involves an official looking document sent to businesses that makes them believe they owe money to the government. The letter states that the corporate compliance department, from whatever state the victim is in, requires the completion of an annual disclosure and/or meeting form as well as a $125 fee. The victim is encouraged to comply with state regulations under the threat of removal of the limited liability status from the business, transfer of corporate liabilities and obligations to shareholders, or other potential consequences of inaction.

The document will add state regulations and other legal-looking content within the letter to instill a sense of fear and urgency. The scammer is hoping to scare an individual into filling out the requested information and sending it, plus the $125 fee, back to the corporate compliance center. Individuals are less likely to make an informed decision when in a heightened emotional state, and that’s exactly what the scammer is hoping to accomplish in pursuit of ill-gotten gains. Don’t let this happen to you.

Each of these corporate compliance documents will have one thing in common to identify it as a scam – the fine print. Somewhere near the bottom of the page, the letter will state that the product or service has not been approved or endorsed by any government agency and the offer is not being made by an agency of the government. This is the key to the entire letter. If one of these documents appears in the mail, do not send in any money. Nothing is owed to the scammer, and nothing is what they should receive for their deceptive efforts.

What other tips would you give to someone to help avoid becoming the victim of a scammer?

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1 Comment

  1. Jonn

     /  May 30, 2013

    I’ve seen stuff like this in the mail before and boy, they sure can be misleading. Just remember to always check the fine print. If they don’t disclose who they are and what they’re doing, then they’re doing something illegal and the USPIS can go after them.

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