Misleading Certificate Service Solicitations are being mailed to newly formed companies stating that “you have one step left in order to attain your elective Certificate of Status. Below is a form for your newly registered business.”. The notice has fooled even industry veterans into thinking they missed a step in their company formation process.
In August 2020, the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office (AG) filed a lawsuit against Centurion Filing Services, LLC, for alleged deceptive solicitations targeting new Mississippi businesses. This action follows countless complaints to the Business Services Division and a cease-and-desist letter from the Mississippi AG’s Office, to which the company had not responded.
“This scam has affected more than 2,700 of our small businesses,” said Secretary of State Michael Watson. “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to hinder our business community, and no Mississippian should face the additional nightmare of becoming a victim of fraud. I’m proud of my team for working diligently to gather the facts in this case, and I’m thankful for the Attorney General’s partnership in bringing justice those who have been impacted.”
The company, which operates under the fictitious name, MS Certificate Service, targets new businesses by sending a misleading “2020 Certificate of Existence Request Form” through the mail. The misleading document encourages business owners to pay a $90.50 fee to receive a Mississippi Certificate of Existence. As of today, the scammers have profited between $170,000 and $260,000, according to the Mississippi release.
Similar misleading communications named CA Certificate Service, NJ Certificate Service, NY Certificate Service, IL Certificate Service and more have been reported.
Contact the experts at NRAI Services LLC to confirm the validity of any notices you receive requesting payment be made to anyone other than an official state office or your trusted service partner.