A few weeks ago, I received two sketchy letters in the mail, one from the “Annual Filing Division” and one from the “Business Filings Division“. Both look pretty official on a cursory glance, complete with a supposed California state seal at the top left corner.
Looking at these two letters, my bullshit meter beeped. I had never heard of these divisions before, nor their fees. I monitor our business expenses closely and am aware of all the business-related fees we need to pay. Nothing I had read mentioned the fees these forms demanded.
The Annual Filing Division asked for a $195.00 payment. The Business Filings Division asked for a $239.00 payment. Both asked for redundant information about our LLC as well, including the company address and member information – information that the state should have already.
Each had a Sacramento phone number listed on their forms. The Annual Filing Division had 916-993-3195, the Business Filings Division had 916-903-5355. I called both to get more information. Both gave me recorded messages. When I hit 0 for an operator, the calls dropped. This happened each time I tried. Give it a try too and see what you get.
The California Secretary of State’s office has even issued an official consumer alert about these fraudulent letters.
If you receive either of these two letters, shred them immediately. They are scams.
Whew. Good thing I’m cost-conscious and examine our business fees closely. I wonder how many business owners wrote checks to these guys. Hopefully they can get their money back. I hope the authorities shut down these scam artists too.