Most Shared

TroubleShooter

TroubleShooter

 
text size

Howard Ain, Troubleshooter: Fake company alert

Updated: Monday, August 4 2014, 07:30 PM EDT
CINCINNATI (Howard Ain) -- A letter in the mail saying a person owes back taxes is scary, but how do they know if it's legitimate?
 
The mail may look like official government documents but looks can be deceiving.  The company, Corporate Records Service, used misleading mailings to trick thousands of small-business owners into paying unnecessary fees.

Laura Carter, a U.S. Postal Inspector, said, "The forms these businesses were receiving looked legitimate they looked like a governmental document that was a requirement."
 
For $125 CRS offered to fill out forms supposedly "required" by the state.  The forms looked urgent, written in legal language with a "please respond by" mark in the corner.
 
Abby Kuzma, director of Consumer Protection, said, "The scammers have gotten very creative and very good at mimicking the labels, the logos, the whole impression of it being government documents."
 
The owners of CRS, Thomas and Steven Fata, were the subject of complaints in several states including Texas, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Arizona, Delaware, Indiana, Illinois, Virginia, Michigan and Wisconsin.
 
Kuzma said, "Ordinarily, when you get a document that looks like a government document, you respond.  We really need to let people know that people are scamming in this way."
               
Postal inspectors said always check with your state attorney general or local better business bureau to see if the mailing received is legitimate.  As for Thomas and Steven Fata, they are awaiting trial and are the subject of a court order not to send deceptive mailings.


Follow us on Twitter @Local12 and LIKE us on Facebook for updates!Howard Ain, Troubleshooter: Fake company alert


Advertise with us!

Related Stories

Scam Alert

  • E-greeting Card Scam

    The e-greeting card scam is not a new one, but the FBI says it's returned with a vengeance.

    It's Internet Crime Complaint Center is receiving an increasing number of complaints.

    The fraud e-cards contain malware as an attachment, or it contains a link which sends the recipient to a web page where they can pick up viruses, keystroke loggers or other so-called trojan horse programs.

    The e-cards sometimes even appear to be from legitimate e-card greeting web sites-- but the actual address of the links point to a numeric address, rather than one containing the name of the postcard company.

    If you get one of these e-mails you can file a complaint on the FBI's web site, http://www.ic3.gov/.
  • Jury Duty Scam

    Officials all across the Tri-State are warning about a jury duty scam that may put you at risk for identity theft.

    Police say someone has been calling residents and saying they face arrest for failing to report for jury duty.

    The caller asks people for personal information including their Social Security numbers to clear up the situation.

    Authorities say the calls are part of a nationwide scam. If you think you have been a victim call your local police or sheriff's department.
 

More TroubleShooter Links

TroubleShooter Feedback

Do you have a problem that needs Howard's attention? Fill out the form below and let him know!
Please re-enter the code shown in the image below.
Advertise with us!