So we received an official-looking letter in the mail today asking Web Active Directory, LLC, to file our annual periodic report with the State of Colorado. These reports are common from state to state and it’s often the case that annual reports are filed with a small fee in the state where a corporation is registered. After a little critical reading and investigation, though, I realized we had been targeted by a fairly sophisticated scam and I want to make our readers—especially small business owners who file these reports themselves—aware of the scam.
Here’s the bottom line…don’t send any money to a purported “Corporate Controllers Unit.” This organization, while it appears legal and is actually not doing anything illegal, is charging $225 for a service that costs $10. As you can see on the Colorado Secretary of State’s website (and certainly your state’s website, too), the fee for filing a periodic report online is $10. Heck, there’s not even an option to file via paper. Even if you’re late, the fee is only $40.
So what we have here is an “enterpreneur” who has decided to provide a helpful service for you to avoid a costly $40 late fee. The only thing is that the service costs $225. Check out the official-looking form letter sent along with the scam to encourage you to file this form with the Secretary of State. It even includes the correct legalese and entity request information…nicely done. Except it’s a rip off!
The envelope, as you can see below, certainly looks like the type of official drivel sent by secretaries of state across the U.S. and this one lends more credibility to the scam…except the notification that this is bogus in “official-looking” print just below the return address. I’ve circled the tip-off text below.
In the end, just don’t send any money at all to the clowns at the “Corporate Controllers Unit.” I’m sure they’ll file you’re information for you with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office but you can save yourself $215 by doing it yourself at the Colorado Secretary of State’s website.