Calista warns village corporations of scam

by Angela Denning-Barnes on February 5, 2013

Story by John Active

The Consumer Protection Unit of the Alaska Attorney General’s Office is notifying Alaskans about a scam targeting small businesses here. The region’s Native for-profit corporation, Calista, is taking it one step further and sending the message to its own villages.

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The state has received reports that an entity calling itself “Corporate Records Service” with an address in Ketchican, Alaska has mailed solicitations entitled “Annual Meetings Records Form” to businesses in Alaska.

The solicitation states that Alaska businesses are required to complete the statement and return it by Febuary 13, 2013 along with a payment of $125.

Calista Corporation says the scam is targeting village corporations. The so-called company is sending letters to corporations offering to prepare their annual their annual meeting minutes for the fee.

The letter is official looking with the name and address of the village corporation and its date of incorporation written in it.

The Calista Corporation is notifying its villages about the scam. Marcia Davis is the General Councel for Calista.

“It’s a group that purports that if you send them a bunch of your corporate information, the names of your shareholders, the corporate directors, corporate officers and then give them a check for $125 or give them your credit card, they’re going to send you a very, very important corporate document that you’re required to have and what they’re talking about are your corporate minutes,” Davis said.

Calista says this is a scam because a corporation’s minutes must show the actions that took place at an actual director or shareholder meeting. The minutes prepared through this scam would be fabricated and of no value to your corporation.

“So, this is like throwing away $125,” said Davis. “You’ll send your money and they’ll send you back something that you can’t use and that won’t be legal.”

Davis says if your corporation receives this type of request, disregard it.

Still, at first glance, the look of the documents can be deceiving. Although the solicitation contains a statement that Corporate Records Service is not a government agency, people may misinterpret the official-looking documents.

For more information, or to file a complaint, contact the Consumer Protection Unitt at (907) 269-5200, or visit law.state.ak.us/consumer/ or ftc.gov/bcp/.

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