Fake Invoice Scam Targets Small Michigan Nonprofits and Businesses

August 16, 2013; MLive.com

 

Nonprofits in the state of Michigan, along with several small businesses, received letters purportedly from the “Corporate Records Service” seeking $125 to prepare “corporate records for the state.” Naturally, this is bogus; printed on the envelope in tiny type that the message within is “not a government document,” and the annual report filing fee in Michigan is $20, not $125. Still, in at least one case, the bogus bill got sent to the proper department for payment, where a sharp-eyed accountant caught the scam before any money was sent.

Steve Arwood, the director of Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, released a statement that said his department was aware iof the scam, and advising the public that, “Michigan corporations are not required by law to file corporate records with LARA’s Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau. Our corporation customers should disregard these deceptive notices, as they are not from the State of Michigan.” In nearby Wisconsin, the attorney general filed a lawsuit against Corporate Records Service around six months ago.

The Michigan AG’s office suggests that you keep the notice, mailing envelope, and return envelope and contact the U.S. Postal Inspection service to report mail fraud.

Have you experienced this scam in another state?—Jason Schneiderman