You can chalk this post up as one that we all should have seen coming.
The compliance form hoax being perpetrated in Ohio is not just limited to to the Buckeye State. On Wednesday afternoon, The Daily Citizen in Georgia reported a similar scam that its making its way through the Peach State. From the report, which was was submitted to The Daily Citizen by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office:
Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel has warned corporations that her office received numerous complaints about solicitations sent from a firm called “Compliance Services.” The firm offers to complete corporate meeting minutes on behalf of Georgia corporations for a fee. The “Annual Minutes Requirement Statement” included in the offer is very similar to solicitations mailed over the last two years from firms named “Georgia Corporate Compliance” and “Georgia Corporate Headquarters.”
Despite the implications contained in the solicitation, Georgia corporations are not required by law to file corporate minutes with the Secretary of State. Additionally, Compliance Services is not registered with the Secretary of State’s Corporations Division to do business in Georgia.
“Georgia corporate customers should be advised that their company is not required to file annual minutes,” Handel said.
Much of the confusion about these forms stems from their official look. In the Ohio case, as reported by the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, $150 is solicited along with “official-looking forms” that the soliciting party offers to file, stating that it is a requirement that corporate minutes be filed with the State. There is no mention in The Daily Citizen article of a specific dollar amount being solicited. However, the details of the hoax are nearly identical. They are presented in a manner similar to annual registration forms send out by the Secretary of State’s Office and contain a limited response time.
Clearly, corporate officers in every state should be on the lookout for a similar style scam coming their way. It is important to note that official correspondence from offices of the secretary of state typically include the State Seal and the name of the Secretary. If either is missing, you should be wary of the documents and follow up with the appropriate authorities.
Update: Based on some of the comments and emails we have been receiving, many CCI readers are receiving the scam forms from Compliance Services. Your best course of action if you receive these forms is to notify the Secretary of State’s Office in your state. If you need help getting the right contact information, drop us a quick note and we will help direct you.