Secretary Thomas, AG Tong, DCP Commissioner Seagull, and CT BBB Mark National Consumer Protection Week with Tips for Consumers and Business Owners
Thomas provided three tips to businesses to avoid business filing scams. First, ensure the letter is coming from the Office of the Secretary of the State. Any letter from the Secretary of the State will include our office’s seal prominently. It will be obvious that it is coming from the State of Connecticut and will not require you to read the fine print to determine its origin. Second, never send a check in the mail. All business filing payments are directed through business.ct.gov – the one stop shop for all of your business’ records and filing needs. And lastly, if you are unsure as to the origin or trustworthiness of a solicitation, visit business.ct.gov and file online instead.
The Attorney General agreed with the Secretary of the State on the importance of protecting small businesses from these predatory scams. “Small businesses cannot afford to pay for services they don’t need,” said Attorney General William Tong. “My office works to protect Connecticut businesses from these scams, but they can also protect themselves by looking at the fine print and making sure they are dealing directly with legitimate state agencies to file only what is required.”
Commissioner Seagull highlighted the importance of remaining vigilant when it comes to reviewing communications. “Business owners have a lot on their plates, and scammers may try to take advantage of that by sending official-looking documents that claim it is necessary to pay a fee to obtain or submit government forms,” said DCP Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull. “These sophisticated schemes might look like official government documents or that they are coming from government agencies but are really attempts to scam businesses out of their hard-earned money. It’s important to remain vigilant and do a little research to identify which documents are necessary and whether they can be downloaded for free.”
Kristen Johnson pointed out the additional impact scams can have on their targets. “While online purchase scams continue to be the most common con in Connecticut, there are other scams that not only create a larger financial burden on those who are targeted but have other impacts as well, such as a loss of time, peace of mind, and personal information. The financial stress that these schemes cause is undeniable,” said Kristen Johnson, Director of Communications for Better Business Bureau Serving Connecticut.
To file a report against a suspected scammer, visit the Department of Consumer Protection’s website. To find more information on how to better protect yourself or your business from scams, view the Better Business Bureau’s 2022 Scam Tracker Risk Report.