The BBB serving Central California is warning business owners that they could easily find themselves the victims of a business filing scam. Fake letters are being sent to California businesses encouraging them to comply with their California Corporations Code filing obligations by submitting fees and documentation to a third party instead of to the Secretary of State’s office.
The scam request comes from a company claiming to be the Business Filings Division of the State of California and lists a Sacramento address. It includes a false seal of the State of California as well as specific code citations and urges immediate compliance in order to “avoid penalties, fines and suspension.” Victims who have fallen for this fraudulent filing paid $239, which is more than ten times the actual $20 filing fee the State charges for California nonprofit corporations and all limited liability companies.
The Scam Grinch isn’t playing favorites and is targeting consumers as well with a fake property tax reassessment offer. Letters from Property Tax Adjusters, located in Granada Hills, CA, are hitting Central California property owners offering assistance with filing paperwork to save money by having their property value adjusted. In truth, property owners wishing to have their property reassessed simply need to make a free request the local county assessor’s office.
Anyone receiving a solicitation letter that seems misleading or confusing is urged to contact the California Attorney General’s Office at www.ag.ca.gov/consumers/general.php or by phone at (916) 322-3360 or toll free at (800) 952-5225.
Businesses may also contact the BBB at (800) 675-8118 for help in verifying the legitimacy of filing or property adjustment requests.