Wednesday, July 30, 2014 · 3:13 p.m.

Secretary of state warns businesses of statewide corporate scam

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The secretary of state's office announced Friday that businesses in Tennessee have been receiving official-looking notices from Corporate Records Service.

However, Corporate Records Service is not registered, affiliated or associated with the Tennessee secretary of state.

Reports indicate that these notices began appearing in mailboxes on or around Jan. 22. The mailer causes confusion because of its appearance, which is made to look like an official document. But Tennessee corporations are required to file annual reports with the secretary of state, and most also receive annual report notices from the secretary of state, and Corporate Records Service has done neither.

“We can confirm that Corporate Records Service is not a business entity on file with our office,” Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett said in a prepared statement. “I strongly advise corporations to exercise caution before providing their private and confidential information or credit card information to this or any company that is representing itself in this manner.”

The Department of State maintains a user-friendly online annual report filing system for businesses. Entity details may be accessed online at http://tnbear.tn.gov/Ecommerce/FilingSearch.aspx. Customers may also call the Business Services Division at 615-741-2286 for more information.

Reports of similar mailings have surfaced in other states, including Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, New York, Texas and Washington.

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