Scam Alerts

We often hear from business owners concerned about receiving offers and solicitatio​ns that are confusing, deceptive, suspicious or even fraudulent. Highlighted below are recent examples reported to us. 

Tax Related Identity Theft

The IRS announced a new sca​m that's impacting employers and payroll companies. ID thieves are sending an email to the human resources person within a company, pretending to be the CEO or another executive. They ask the Human Resources employee to send them the W-2s. However, the information is NOT going to the company CEO, it's going to an identity thief who uses names and social security numbers to file fraudulent returns.​​​​

Protect yourself from identity theft. Visit the Internal Revenue Service website to learn about taxpayer identity theft.

Find informat​ion and resources to assist you​ in protecting your business from identity theft​.

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Employment Poster Scam

Employment poster scams are a frequent concern for many business owners. Required employment posters are generally free. You can download most directly from government agency websites. ​

A typical employment or labor poster solicitation cites state and federal requirements to post labor posters and notices at job sites as well as penalties for non-compliance. These companies offer to provide all the required posters for $84 or more. These offers are scams.
For examples of scam solicitations:
Visit the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries​ (BOLI) for information on employer poster requirements and instructions for downloading and ordering employer compliance posters. ​​​​

Annual Minutes Solicitation

December 2015 -- Oregon corporations repor​ted receiving a questionable solicitation entitled "2015-Annual Minutes Form." This form can be easily mista​ken for correspondence from the State of Oregon. Although corporations are required to maintain annual minutes​, they are not required to file these with the Secretary of State Corporation Division.
Despite its appearance, the A​nnual Records Solicitation Form (PDF) solicitation was not sent by the Secretary of State Corporation Division. It is neither authorized nor sanctioned in any way by the State of Oregon.


Certificate of Standing Solicitation

July 2014 -- Oregon businesses have reported receiving a lett​er from Oregon Business Filing Services offering a certificate of standing (certificate of existence) among other services. Although the letter might appear to be from a government agency​​, it's not. 


Oregon Business Filings Services charges a fee of $59.99. The Secretary of State Corporation Division provides certificates of existence for $10.00 each. Please visit our certificate page​ and complete a request form if you need a certificate of existence.​ ​​​​​​

Secondhand Precious Metals Dealers

On January 1, 2013, Oregon implemented a law regulating precious metal secondhand dealers (ORS 646A.064-068​​). Be aware that precious metal secondhand dealers who solicit, receive, purchase, trade or accept delivery of items of precious metal from individuals in return for money or other consideration are required to follow state law.


Assumed Business Name Renewal Service Scam

We received reports of a solicitation from a company called Assumed Business Name Renewal Service perceived by many Oregon businesses to be confusing, deceptive or a scam. This solicitation warns of pending assumed business name expiration, cites Oregon law, and offers to prepare and file all necessary documents to renew the business name with the Secretary of State Corporation Division for a fee of $100.


If you paid this company to perform the renewal service for you and they failed to complete the renewal with the Corporation Division, you should contact the Oregon Department of Justice, Financial Fraud and Consumer Protection Section.


Corporate Regulatory Committee Annual Report Scam

May 30, 2013 - We had reports of a solicitation from a company called Corporate Regulatory Committee that many Oregon businesses report to be "confusing," “deceptive” or “a scam.”​


This solicitation cites Oregon Law, warns of potential administrative dissolution if action is not taken by a specified date, and offers to file the renewal with the Secretary of State Corporation Division (for a fee of $238) as the business’ agent. In one example, the solicitation requested fees and a response from the business a full year before the annual report was required to be filed.

If you paid this company to file your annual report with the Secretary of State Corporation Division, you should contact the Oregon Department of Justice, Financial Fraud and Consumer Protection Section​.

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Inactive Business/OLCC scam

A scammer sent threatening letters to businesses in the bar and restaurant industry. The scammer demanded money in exchange for not filing complaints with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), claiming the business’s failure to keep government paperwork up-to-date threatened its status with the OLCC.

Any businesses receving this type of threatening letter should contact:
  1. Their local police department to file a criminal complaint.
  2. The OLCC at 800-452-6522 (if licensed to sell alcohol) and
  3. The Corporation Division​ at 503-986-2200 for assistance updating and renewing business registrations.
Our office can help a business register a new assumed business name (dba) or trade name, change a legal business name, and reinstate a dissolved corporate registration in some situations. See Registering Your Business Name (FAQ) for more information.

Updating license information with the OLCC is a simple procedure. Complete the OLCC change of information form (PDF). 

National Business Registration Solicitation

A known scam is from a company called the National Business Registration. The company sends businesses a "final notice" telling the owner, "Since the introduction of the Patriot Act of 2001 all businesses are required to register with the National Corporation Registry." This is false information. There is no requirement to register a business through a national corporate registry, and the federal government doesn't operate a national corporate registry.

The notice also instructs businesses to pay a $487 fee within 14 days of receipt or else they will be "administratively dissolved/revoked and an additional fee will be due if the entity is removed from our database due to nonpayment."


Unsolicited trademark solicitation

This business-to-business mailing looks deceptively like a mailing from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The unsolicited offer comes from an Idaho company calling itself United States Trademark Information Services (PDF)​. It is similar to other solicitations reported around the country.

​​The company sends an official-looking notice marked IMPORTANT ADVISORY and URGENT, instructing the recipient to complete the form and return it to them for assistance in registering their business name as a trademark.

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Contact Us with Questions

We Are Here to Help

Please call us at 503-986-2200, or email corporation.division@state.or.us​.​​​​

Oregon Department of Justice Links