Officials warn CT businesses about scam - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Officials warn CT businesses about scam

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Officials warn CT businesses about scam (WFSB) Officials warn CT businesses about scam (WFSB)

There is a scheme sweeping the country, targeting small businesses including ones in Connecticut.

The scam involves letters that appear to be from government agencies seeking fees but they are not from the state.

Chris Murray, of Financial Strategies, gets mountains of professional letters, so when a particular envelope was delivered to his company’s office with its return address in West Hartford, he thought it was from a state agency.

“I open this up, it's an annual records statement, and it’s addressed to me. It's got a business number. Respond by Aug. 14 asking me for a list of shareholders,” Murray said.

The letter asked for more information than the secretary of state requires from businesses.

It also said that he needed to pay $150 for an annual records statement.

“I was that close to doing it,” he said.

His accountant said to call the Better Business Bureau, where he was told it was a scam.

“It has language in there that makes you feel if you don't pay up--you're going to be in trouble,” said Howard Schwartz of the Better Business Bureau. "But there is a disclosure there that the Division of Corporate Services does not officially represent the state of Connecticut or other government entity."

Schwartz said this is an elaborate scheme that has been seen across the country.

Eyewitness News followed up with a series of calls however there was no answer and no way to leave a message.

Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection and Attorney General said they are aware of the scam and have warned businesses.

If you received the letter, you should contact the Department of Consumer Protection. For more information, click here.

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