Scam Alert: Small-business Owners Warned of Fake Government Forms
As the owner of a small consulting firm, Scott Harris’ mailbox is always full. But after sorting through heaps of paperwork, Harris began to notice a concerning trend that he wants all budding entrepreneurs to know about: an uptick in illegitimate mailings.
Just recently Harris received a pile of seemingly official government documents claiming to come from the Colorado Corporate Compliance Office.
“As a small business, I get an awful lot of these from the state and federal government,” Harris told "FOX6 News." “I didn’t really give it a thought. I filled it out and sent it in.”
Spoiler alert: It was a scam.
Designed to target people starting their own businesses, the forms, Harris noted, include the name of the company and the state businesses incorporate, among other pieces of information.
"It’s asking for some kind of periodic report and what they are offering is some kind of service to provide documents to file with the state that aren’t even really required," U.S. Postal Inspector Jojan Henderson explained to "FOX6 News."
Harris never did send in a fee, but the same can’t be said for hundreds of other business owners, which brings us back to one of the core principles of running a successful business: Always do your homework.
Harris recommended verifying information with your state’s attorney general or your local Better Business Bureau.
"If it’s not a compliance issue you are familiar with, there will certainly be an email address or phone number that you can contact to ensure it is something," Harris said.
Elise Hacking Carr is editor-in-chief/content director for Print+Promo magazine.