SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is warning businesses to beware of a scam targeting Illinois corporations. This is the second attempt this year by this group to swindle businesses, according to a release from White’s office.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is warning businesses to beware of a scam targeting Illinois corporations. This is the second attempt this year by this group to swindle businesses, according to a release from White’s office.
A firm called Corporate Records Service is contacting Illinois businesses in an attempt to collect a $125 fee to fill out a corporation’s “Annual Minutes Records Form.” The Illinois Business Corporation Act does not require corporations to file a “Minutes Records Form” or pay such a fee with the state or any private entity.
“The problem is that the form this bogus firm is sending out looks similar to our Secretary of State’s annual report form,” White said. “We are concerned that companies are filing the form and paying the $125 because they believe they are filing their annual report with us, as required by law.”
The false notice, which is mailed in a green envelope, states that the fee must be paid by November 9, 2012. However, there is no fee due to the state for that purpose. The annual report fee is normally the only fee a corporation would pay. Illinois corporations should be on the alert for this and other similar attempts to defraud them.
The scam is also currently occurring in Ohio, Florida, Rhode Island, Texas, and Washington. The scam has been reported in Connecticut, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, and Massachusetts.
White is urging anyone who has become a victim of the scam to call the Secretary of State’s Business Services Office immediately at 217-782-6961 or 312-793-3380. Their information will be important in recovering funds and prosecuting the offenders.
The Secretary of State Police is leading the investigation together with other state and federal agencies regarding this deceptive business practice.
White is recommending that corporations do not reply to the solicitation.
Businesses that have received the notice are encouraged to contact the Secretary of State’s Business Services Office at 217-782-6961 or 312-793-3380.