Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan are warning businesses to beware of a scam targeting Illinois corporations.
A firm called Illinois Council for Corporations is contacting Illinois businesses in an attempt to collect a $125 fee to fill out a corporationâ€™s â€œAnnual Minutes Records Form.â€ The Illinois Business Corporation Act does not require corporations to file a â€œMinutes Records Formâ€ or pay such a fee with the state or any private entity.
â€œThis bogus firm is sending out a form that looks similar to the Secretary of Stateâ€™s annual report form,â€ White said. â€œWe are concerned that companies are filing the form and paying the $125 fee because they believe they are filing their annual report with us, as required by law.â€
There is no fee due to the state for annual minutes. The annual report fee is normally the only fee a corporation would pay to the Secretary of State Business Services Department. Illinois corporations should be on alert for this and other similar attempts to confuse Illinois business owners about state law.
White is recommending that corporations do not reply to the solicitation. He also recommends business owners who believe theyâ€™ve been targeted by this scam file a complaint with the Attorney Generalâ€™s Office.
â€œPosing as government officials is a tactic frequently used by scammers, so itâ€™s important that business owners be vigilant,â€ said Attorney General Madigan. â€œIf business owners are asked to submit fees and forms they are unfamiliar with, I encourage them to first contact my office.â€
All of the Secretary of Stateâ€™s Business Services forms are available on the website at www.cyberdriveillinois.com. For all other questions, please call 217-782-6961.
If a business would like to file a complaint in relation to this solicitation, please contact the Illinois Attorney Generalâ€™s Office Consumer Fraud Bureau at 800-243-0618 or visit IllinoisAttorneyGeneral.gov.