It seems that every year we field about a dozen phonecalls regarding phony notices, business solicitations and phishing emails sent to business owners. These range from emails with fake Quickbooks update links to official looking letters in the mail with requests for banking and personal information. We have plenty of experience helping clients sort through these and can usually identify whether these correspondence are a scam just from a quick telephone conversation. Here are three of the most popular scams we are seeing right now:
Corporate Annual Minutes
Some clients have received a notice in the mail asking for them to submit their corporate annual minutes along with a payment for processing. If you have a corporation, you should be keeping corporate annual minutes each year as part of your normal business activities. However, you will never receive an unsolicited request for these minutes. Sometimes an IRS auditor will request them or they may be required for an active legal issue. Sometimes the scammer will include places to enter credit card information or bank information on their form. If you receive a request for your corporate annual minutes, or a form requiring that you register your minutes, don’t hesitate to contact us to determine the validity of the form. In most cases, it can go in the shredder.
The IRS does not send unsolicited email. If you receive an email claiming to be from the IRS, feel free to forward it to email@example.com for them to research and track down. Often times these emails will promise a refund and request banking information for direct deposit. More bold version will tell you there is an outstanding balance and they will seize your assets if you do not provide information for a payment plan. Some versions of the scam simply ask you to confirm personal information such as your Social Security number or provide a link that will infect your computer.
Companies are required to post certain payroll compliance posters that reflect minimum wage requirements, workers comp requirements and certain other laws that employers must follow. There are companies who provide these posters for a fee and will usually send correspondence highlighting that you are required to have these. They are right, but you don’t need to pay them for these posters. Often times your payroll service will provide these for free. You can find many of these posters and notifications on our Resources page.
These three popular scams can cause headaches, but don’t let them be expensive headaches. Give us a call and we can help you sort through what notices are real and what are not.