ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Georgia’s Secretary of State’s Office is warning business owners about scam mail from what it calls a bogus company seeking money.
Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told FOX 5 News the company, Workplace Compliance Services, is soliciting businesses to ‘scare people into paying hundreds of dollars in unnecessary fees.’
Steve McDonald received this seemingly important notice in the mail which reads 2019 Annual Registration Instruction Form.
It includes a warning to file an annual registration for LLC’s or Corporations or face penalties and fines.
It asks business owners like McDonald, who owns Motörhead’s Bar and Grill in McDonough and a property management company, to send 135 dollars to Workplace Compliance Services at an Atlanta address.
“It’s 135 dollars I was like, I asked my wife, doesn’t it normally cost 50 dollars to renew your LLC? So that automatically put off a red flag,” said Steve McDonald.
The address on the letter led to Chastain Square in Atlanta to this UPS store and a PO mailbox inside.
Employees there told Fox 5 News they’ve had numerous inquiries about Workplace Compliance Services, so has Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
“This is a scam you don’t need to use their service. This another way of trying to watch you spend $135 dollars,” said Raffensperger.
Secretary of State Raffensperger likens the letter to a computer phishing scheme.
FOX 5’s George Franco called Workplace Compliance Services where after a few minutes someone picked up. The woman advised him to send an email to an attorney.
As of late Wednesday night, no one had responded.
Secretary of State Raffensperger said it’s unclear what laws have been broken.
“We’ll get the full story and really dig into what type of penalties someone could be facing and then see what appropriate action we could take,” said Raffensperger.
A Google search of Workplace Compliance Services turns up complaints and scam warnings in multiple states including Colorado, Florida, Oregon, and New York.
Mr. Raffensperger asks anyone who gets the scam letter to ignore it and instead pay fees through their attorney or directly on the state's website as Steve McDonald did.
He had these words to whoever sent the letter.
“Your stealing people’s money. I mean it’s not fair to us who go out and work,” said McDonald.
Here is the Ecorp site: https://ecorp.sos.ga.gov/