Routt County businesses among those targeted in possible scam

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— Routt County business owners are among businesses statewide being targeted in a possible scam.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office is warning businesses and nonprofit agencies about a “deceptive mailing” from a private company offering to file required reports with the Secretary of State’s office for much more than the $10 filing fee.

The mailings came from the Corporate Controllers Unit, a Nevada-based company listing a Denver post office box as a return address.

The message features an official-looking seal at the top and the title “Periodic Report.” The letter cites the Colorado Revised Statutes and warns business owners that if they do not file periodic reports with the Secretary of State’s Office, they could be listed as “delinquent.”

The letters go on to offer to help businesses avoid delinquency in exchange for $225. At the bottom of the letter is a disclaimer advising that there is no obligation to pay the $225 on receiving the message. “This product or service has not been approved or endorsed by any government agency,” the disclaimer reads.

Steamboat Springs resident Mariane Sasak received the letter this week for her business Steamboat Ranchwear.

“I watched the news that night, and they said it was a scam,” Sasak said. “I opened the letter, and there it was.”

The Secretary of State’s Office issued a statement advising businesses that the filing can be completed online directly with the office, and in most cases the fee is just $10.

Colorado Attorney General’s Office spokesman Mike Saccone said that Attorney General John Suthers is urging recipients of the letter to file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Department and that the service does appear to be a scam. Saccone said it is a common strategy of scam artists to try to charge consumers to perform a free or low-cost service and simply pocket any money they receive.

Saccone said the low cost of sending out the mailings means scammers need only a few hits to make it worthwhile.

“If they get even a handful of consumers to respond, they’re in the black,” he said.

Corporate Controllers Unit Owner Maxim Kitaev said he understands that some people are wary of the high cost, but he said his company provides the service it promises. Kitaev said he has been in business two years and operates nationwide.

“We spend a lot of money on mailing, so we charge a little bit more to make money,” Kitaev said.

Comments

chickadee 3 years, 8 months ago

In other words, the Corporate Controllers Unit owner is engaging in the unauthorized practice of law?

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Carrie Requist 3 years, 8 months ago

We received that letter also. Yes, it is definitely formatted to look like it comes from the government. At the same time, it has text on it, even on the return address that says something like this is not from a government agency. Reading through the letter, it was pretty clear that this was a service to take care of government filings and things and that the charge for the service was $225. It was unclear exactly what the service would provide. i don't doubt the owner that they are providing some sort of service. I also have no doubt that they service they provide is not worth anywhere near $225. I threw the letter in recyling. This seems right on the fine line of scam in that they are providing some service that is significantly overpriced, but overpricing is not a crime in and of itself. The tactic to look like a government letter is definitely scummy.

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greenwash 3 years, 8 months ago

I got the letter too.Pretty obvious it was junk mail...Are people really that naive?

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sodacreekpizza 3 years, 8 months ago

We got the thing too. It reminds me of the yellow pages "invoices" for a book you never see and the services that sell you labor law posters for 20X what they are worth and the cash register tape scammers from upstate NY.

My guess is that book keepers pay these things when a business owner would not. Easy to write a check for a couple of hundred bucks and move on the next envelope when it is not your money.

If your book keeper takes your mail and pays your bills, you should look into this one.

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