Indiana businesses should be on the lookout for a deceptive letter that appears to be from the Secretary of State’s office.
According to Secretary of State Connie Lawson, the letter asks for a $125 annual fee for “record keeping and processing of a company’s annual minutes.” The document looks like it’s from the Business Services Division of Lawson’s office and sets a “return by” date of Feb. 13. The return address goes to a box at a UPS Store in Speedway.
Lawson said Rep. Bill Davis of Portland brought the letter to her attention.
“We take seriously our role to protect Hoosiers from scams of all nature,” said Secretary of State Connie Lawson. “Any effort by swindlers to defraud Hoosier small businesses is deplorable.”
Lawson is worried businesses could be easily confused by the letter, believing that it’s the business entity report that needs to be filled out as required by state law. Businesses that need to file that report can do so, securely, at the Secretary of State’s website.
The office urges businesses to check the validity of any mailings from Indiana’s Business Services Division or any division of the Office of the Secretary of State by calling the Business Services Division Help Line at (317) 232-6576.
In 2008, a similar letter went out. More than 100 businesses fell victim to the scam. The Attorney General’s office successfully prosecuted the case, with the judge agreeing that the letters were meant to deceive recipients. The latest letters have been turned over to Attorney General Greg Zoeller.