Businesses and non-profits, beware—these are the targets of the latest scam to circulate in Colorado.
Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler announced Monday that a letter has been sent out to many organizations in Colorado asking for a $225 annual fee to file reports with the Secretary of State’s office. Gessler says that the letter is fraudulent—in most cases, the annual fee to file with the Secretary of State is $10.
11 News spoke with a local businesswoman, Sue Coons, who says she almost got taken. She says "I'm very glad my husband was home to have read that-- looked over my shoulder and peeked in and said 'wait a minute'"
She says it's a hard business climate right now- and every business owner should take a close look at what you're signing.
Scott Gessler says “We work hard to keep business filing fees low and communicate with these entities about the need for periodic filings,” Gessler said. “These kinds of deceptive mailings create unnecessary confusion. We’ve taken great strides to create an user friendly, efficient system to file these reports online directly with the Secretary of State’s office.”
Below is the full text of the alert sent out in response to the mailings:
The Colorado Secretary of State’s office is notifying Colorado businesses of a possibly deceptive solicitation issued by “Corporate Controllers Unit.” The entity has mailed solicitations titled “Periodic Report” to businesses in Colorado. These solicitations offer to process periodic reports with the Secretary of State’s office on behalf of entities for a $225.00 fee. Though the majority of entities doing business in Colorado are required to file periodic reports with the Secretary of State’s office, the filing can be completed directly with the Secretary of State’s office and in most cases the fee is merely $10.00.
Although the solicitations contain disclaimers stating that “This product or service has not been approved or endorsed by any Government Agency and this offer is not being made by an agency of the Government,” the solicitation is creating confusion. Please be aware, the forms are not required by the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. We encourage you to review your entity’s record and if necessary file any needed reports online at www.sos.state.co.us.
You may check the status of an entity online at www.sos.state.co.us. Select “Search Business Database” in the blue “Let us help you…” box under the Business Center column of the Secretary of State’s homepage. Enter either the entity name or ID number in the appropriate field on the Records Search page. Searching by the entity’s ID number will display the Summary page. Searching by the entity name will result in a list of names similar to the name searched and will require you to select the proper record. Review the information on the Summary page to confirm that the proper record has been retrieved. The current status for the entity is listed near the middle of the Summary page.
If you have any questions please contact my staff directly at 303-894-2200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Secretary of State