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State investigating potential mailing scam, urges businesses to be cautious

  • Some local business owners have been receiving forms requesting the business’s minutes and a $125 processing fee. Officials are saying that the misleading mail is impersonating the state with the way the documents and envelope look.

    Some local business owners have been receiving forms requesting the business’s minutes and a $125 processing fee. Officials are saying that the misleading mail is impersonating the state with the way the documents and envelope look.

  • Some local business owners have been receiving forms requesting the business’s minutes and a $125 processing fee. Officials are saying that the misleading mail is impersonating the state with the way the documents and envelope look.

    Some local business owners have been receiving forms requesting the business’s minutes and a $125 processing fee. Officials are saying that the misleading mail is impersonating the state with the way the documents and envelope look.

  • Some local business owners have been receiving forms requesting the business’s minutes and a $125 processing fee. Officials are saying that the misleading mail is impersonating the state with the way the documents and envelope look.
  • Some local business owners have been receiving forms requesting the business’s minutes and a $125 processing fee. Officials are saying that the misleading mail is impersonating the state with the way the documents and envelope look.

The state attorney general’s office is investigating possible scam mailings from a company called Corporate Revenue Service, which ask business owners to submit annual minutes as required under state law for a fee of $125.

Although the envelope states “this is a not a government document,” the attorney general’s and secretary of state’s offices believe it is designed to appear as an official government document. The company lists a Concord mailing address, which is actually the United Postal Services office on South Main Street. The envelope contains a form saying that “Corporate Revenue Services will provide and prepare company minutes that meet the following requirements of New Hampshire law,” and goes onto detail state requirements.

The mailing also coincides with the April 1 deadline for businesses to submit annual record filings to the secretary of state’s office, which may further confuse people who receive the mailing. Legitimate government mailings will have the state seal and more specific information related to each business, said Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan.

“It is similar to, but not identical to, what the annual return info (form) might look like,” he said.

State offices were alerted to the mailings last week, and several others states, including Massachusetts, are reporting similar mailings. It is unclear at this time whether Corporate Revenue Services is actually providing a service or just committing theft, said Jim Boffetti, senior assistant attorney general in the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau. Either way, it is not okay to masquerade the mailings as coming from the government, he said.

“Even if they are providing the service, you cannot do it in an unfair or deceptive manner,” he said.

In August, the attorney general’s office investigated a similar scam by
a company called Record
Retrieval Department,
which was offering to retrieve deeds for homeowners that are already publicly available. That company also listed 75 S. Main St. as its location.

Alan Kanegsberg, a business owner in Bow, said he received the mailing in mid-February and immediately thought it was suspicious. It reminded him of a
scam years ago when a company was pretending to sell Yellow Pages phone books. Despite the disclaimer that it is not a government document on the envelope, the form inside looks legitimate, he said, and many people might not realize it is not from the government.

“When you see this, it’s relatively official and there’s no question there’s a law that you have to keep minutes of your corporate meetings,” he said. “This is a state of small-business owners and they’re going to do what they’re told to do.”

Both the attorney general’s and secretary of state’s offices are encouraging people to beware of the envelopes and always carefully review documents they receive in the mail.

“Read documents carefully, make sure you understand who you’re doing business with, read the fine print,” Boffetti said. “Inquire further before you send in your hard-earned money.”

(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3309 or kronayne@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @kronayne.)

If they fall for that, they shouldn't even be running a Lemonade Stand.

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