The Better Business Bureau of Greater Kansas City is alerting businesses of a scam that calls itself “Compliance Division.” The scam mails postcards to businesses, notifying them that they may be in violation of compliance. The card neglects to inform the business of what compliance they might be in violation and only asks them to call a toll free number.
According to one local business that filed a complaint with the BBB, once they called the toll-free number, the Compliance Division demanded $200 for a Certificate of Good Standing.
While Missouri does have a Certificate of Good Standing, it costs only $10, not $200, and is not necessarily required to do business in the state. The Missouri Secretary of State’s office accepts requests for the certificates via fax, mail, in person or online. They will not call or mail businesses demanding payment for the certificate.
The Compliance Division claims to have an address in Harrisonville, MO. However, the address belongs to Missouri Registered Agent, LLC (MRA), a local registrar company with no ties to the so-called Compliance Division. MRA informed the BBB that they have filed a complaint with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office about the unauthorized use of their business address.
During the course of an investigation, the BBB attempted to discover a valid mailing address for Compliance Division. The BBB found additional addresses given by the group, a Pennsylvania business address and a Florida residence, but both were false.
On March 14, 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of State issued a scam warning against Business Compliance Division, aka Compliance Division, stating:
“The Pennsylvania Department of State has been made aware of more post card solicitations that are being mailed to Pennsylvania businesses from a bogus company calling itself “Business Compliance Division.” The post card urges the company to “call immediately” to “avoid potential fees and penalties.” The number (1-888-803-7922) leads the caller to speak to a representative of the alleged company, who seeks a credit card payment of $125 over the phone to procure a “certificate of existence” in order to comply with “Commonwealth regulations governing new enterprises.”
This is a SCAM. Companies which are validly formed have already received a stamped copy of the public organic document filed with the Department of State, indicating the entity number, date filed and name of the current Secretary of the Commonwealth. There is no “certificate of existence” required for a newly-filed company in order to maintain compliance with Pennsylvania law.”
If your business receives one of these post cards, do not contact the number given. You can report the scam to the BBB Scam Tracker at www.bbb.org/scamtracker. If you wish to obtain a legitimate copy of your Certificate of Good Standing in the state of Missouri, contact the Corporation Unit at (573) 751-4153.