Official-looking flyer in the mail could cost you hundreds

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by Chris Nagus / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on November 7, 2012 at 11:24 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 8 at 1:16 PM

News 4 is always working to protect people from rip-offs, and we found one that could cost you $125 if you’re not careful.

We found out about the problem from a Granite City man who thought it was legit but then did a double take.

It is an offer that comes in the mail, looks official but it’s worthless. Ron Cushman and his wife get a lot of mail since they run an unusual business out of their home.

They are a mail order crystal company, shipping crystal balls and wands to fortune tellers across the country.

But they did not see the letter from Corporate Record Services coming. For $125 the company offers customers a chance to submit their annual minutes records form.

But that made no sense to Cushman.

“We have never done it before, we have been in business 6 years now” said Cushman.

The letter was mailed from Pennsylvania.

But it asks for checks to be mailed to the Illinois state capital of Springfield, the same city that the Secretary of State’s office is putting out warnings about the company.

“It’s clearly a sham absolutely … it’s a bogus form by a company that’s trying to rip-off Illinois businesses” said Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt.

Haupt says his office has received 250 calls complaining about Corporate Records Service just this week.

He says some businesses took the bait, sent in checks, and lost money.

News 4’s Chris Nagus tracked the business to the address on the mailer, but it only led to a mailbox store.

The worker at the store told Nagus that Corporate Record Services gets lots of mail and it’s all forwarded to another address in Michigan.

When he tried to call the company the operator hung up on him.

He called back and they took his name and number but he has not gotten a call back.

This same situation happened in New York and Florida. In Florida business owners were asked to send payment to PO Box in Tallahassee, the Florida state capital.

The Illinois Secretary of State’s office has alerted the Missouri Secretary of State’s office about the practices of Corporate Records Service.

They want to make it clear this is not something you need to pay for; it’s not even something you need to submit in Illinois, so just tear it up if it arrives in your mailbox.

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