Corporations beware: a new scam is targeting you. As Roanoke County resident Phillip Gervase found out, it is quite believable.
"It is a legitimate-looking document that almost fooled me," Gervase said.
Gervase is the vice president of Hampden Tax Services in Vinton. He and dozens of his clients have received a letter in the mail requesting a payment of $125 for an annual minutes statement.
Gervase says that this service is already taken care of through a corporations attorney.
"Most corporations have had this taken care of already by their attorney and may not even know it," Gervase said.
After researching the company, Gervase called the clerk's office of the State Corporation Commission of Virginia and found that they have received an overwhelming number of the same inquiries.
The business operates under the name of Corporate Records Services, whose address is listed as 7109 Staples Mill Road, #402, Richmond, VA 23228-4110.
The solicitation notes that Corporate Records Services is not a government agency. However, the envelope and enclosed material create the appearance that the mailing is an official government communication.
According to the clerk's office, the form is not a document prescribed or recognized by the Commission.
A search of the business entity data base maintained by the clerk's office of the Commission reveals no company of record with the name Corporate Records Service.
Further research of the business shows that there are multiple address listings across the United States.
One state has even filed suit.
Any corporation that has questions about the solicitation or form is encouraged to obtain advice from its lawyer or business advisor.
The Clerk's Office can be contacted at (804) 371-9733 or 1-866-722-2551 (toll-free in Virginia) and can provide information about business entity filing requirements under Virginia law.