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Minnesota Commerce Department Warns Businesses of ‘Corporate Compliance’ Email Scam

4/26/2016 11:51:59 AM

SAINT PAUL – Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman is warning the state’s businesses about an email solicitation from “Minnesota Corporate Compliance” with an invoice requesting payment to comply with a state business reporting requirement.

The deceptive email solicits businesses to pay a $125 fee by a certain date in order to maintain proper records.

“This email is a scam and any business that receives the solicitation should disregard it,” said Rothman.  “At first glance, the official-looking invoice may appear legitimate. But it is designed to trick a business into making an unnecessary payment.”

The invoice cites a nonexistent state law about maintaining business records and requests online payment of a $125 annual fee.

While the invoice has a return address for a downtown Saint Paul office building, it does not include a suite number and there is no tenant in the building matching Minnesota Corporate Compliance.  

Calls to the phone number listed on the invoice are forwarded to voice mail.

“This type of scam isn’t entirely new,” said Rothman. “Businesses used to get solicitations like this through direct mail or phone calls.  Now it’s done with email and online payment services. But the intent remains the same: to deceive and defraud.”

Commerce is here to help

If you have questions or concerns about a possible fraud or scam, contact the Commerce Department’s Consumer Services Center by email at consumer.protection@state.mn.us or by phone at 651-539-1600 or 800-657-3602 (Greater Minnesota).

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