Police: Small businesses, beware of scam - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Police: Small businesses, beware of scam

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MADISON, Wisconsin (WKOW) - Police are warning businesses across Wisconsin of a scam. It involves a letter asking them to pay $125.

It mimics a formal document business owners do have to file with the State Department of Financial Institutions every year. But this document comes from Corporate Records Service, which has no affiliation with the state. 

At first glance it looks legitimate and very professional. But if you look closer you'll see there's no e-mail address, no phone number, no way what-so-ever you can actually contact Corporate Records
Service.  

The only information is an address on the return envelope used for sending the $125. Madison small business owner, Lori Waters, is trying to warn others about this scam.

"Most people just wouldn't pay attention to it when they're referring to the state and they're citing different codes and things like that out of the state books. They're just going to take a look at it and put the money in the mail," says Lori.

There is an easy way to tell the difference between the real document and the fake one. The real one is a small light blue postcard that's labeled with an e-mail address and phone number you can call.  The fake one is a long white letter sent with a return envelope that says Corporate Records Services.

This scam isn't only happening in Wisconsin. The Better Business Bureau's website has several complaints.  The Illinois Secretary of State has issued a warning to local businesses as well. And the Illinois Attorney General is investigating this company for a possible lawsuit.

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