Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Watch out for Scams Attacking New Business Owners

First rule of owning your own business … have an accountant on-hand to review all documentation that is sent to you asking for money and paperwork. My business was recently subject to some serious scams, and I want to take the time to warn others so they do not also fall victim.

Once your business is filed with the Federal Government and you are established as a new business owner, you will find many offers coming to you for this and that. Keep an eye out for the scams!

Annual Minutes Disclosure Filing scams (listed below) found me. Keep on the look out for such requests and ignore/discard them. They appear very legit equip with your business EIN and are firm in their wording, so if you are unsure as to how to respond run them by a trusted accountant first before acting in any way.

I received three Annual Minutes Disclosure Filing scams and each one was generated from a different office, thus checks were to be made out to three separate offices. Check amounts varied from $125 to $150 to $175.

The following I received were:

1. Annual Minutes Disclosure Filing: Corporate Compliance Filings Office
2. Annual Minutes Discloser Filing: Corporation Compliance Recorder Office
3. Annual Minutes Discloser Filing: Compliance Annual Minutes Board Office

The following sites represent a handful out of many and provide more information on the same scam: - HinesSight blog - Better Business Bureau, Santa Barbara County - Associated Content Article - Another personal experience - Rip Off Report - The Company Corporation

Women! Watch out for Scams Targeting Female Business Professionals and Entrepreneurs

The National Association of Professional Women and the Cambridge Who’s Who seem to be in cahoots with one another. Coincidentally they are both owned by Scam Artist Matt Roman. There are also several other Who’s Who and other professional female organizations possibly owned by Roman that play the same game. Their play is to send you a direct mail postcard stating that you have been selected to receive a FREE one-year membership. After sending them your name and contact information to receive the complimentary membership someone calls and interviews you to see if you meet their high standards and criteria. It is some of the best scripted bait and switch scam sales crap I have ever heard. After you pass the interview they stroke your ego by congratulating you as if you’ve just won the Oscar™. Then the pitch comes on thick. They begin by trying to sell you two packages (neither of which is free, by the way).

The first level package is over $500 and the other is more than $800. When you mention the free membership offered through the mail they push harder to get you to cough up cash. When you resist further they offer a package at $189. When you push back even further they finally let up and tell you they will send you an email for the very basic membership package. The call ends there and the promised email never arrives. One lady badgered me so badly for not wanting to pay she made me feel like a derelict entrepreneur. So much so I simply recoiled and figured “it’s a good cause.” After all, I am a female entrepreneur trying to network with and assist other female entrepreneurs, so what the hell. Now I want to gouge her eyes out.

Almost immediately after the purging of funds I had immense buyer’s remorse, but I kept telling myself there will be benefits, right? So I kept a look out for the membership package said to arrive in 10 business days. The package, of course, never arrived. I felt ill having been scammed. The fact is that I am not stupid, but rather I am a trusting person - obviously to a fault. But if you were to read my CV you’d clearly see that my nature is giving and trusting just by the career and schooling choices I’ve made. They probably have professional profilers working for them lining up the perfect candidates to be bait and switched. And usually I am very good about letting things go, but not this. I’ve been relentless in demanding my money back. The last time I called I was so irate… “You f----d with the wrong bitch this time, Craig” … was among the most mild of utterances that rolled off my tongue. After being on hold for 20 minutes and routed back to the receptionist I finally got Craig back on the phone and was assured that I’d be getting my money back. We’ll see about that, but I can assure you that I will call everyday as part of my daily routine and will personally threaten Craig’s family jewels until I get my money back. Remember Lorena Bobbitt, Craig?

Below are some sites that also reference these two organizations as scams.

Here is a link that lists legitimate, qualified professional organizations for females:

Matt Roman buys his lists for his DM campaigns from this company: