As the owner of TecBrat.com LLC, I have the pleasure of working with Business Coach, Cynthia Alloway, of Common Sense Business Solutions.
In addition to helping you to grow as a professional and teaching you to make good business decisions, Cynthia can help you identify and avoid scams that might cost you some of your hard earned profits.
Here are just a few of the scams we've seen over the years:
Labor Law Compliance Posters
There are federal and state requirements for displaying labor law notices. There are posters that conveniently combine all the right notices for your location, and update every year. You are not required to purchase these posters. You can print your own from the various municipal websites, and some payroll companies will offer them for free as a convenience to their customers. Don't be tricked into paying high fees for something you can get for free.
Corporate Minutes Compliance letter
At lease two companies. "Compliance Services" and "Corporate Records Service", have been attempting to fool small business owners in Florida into paying $125.00 to $250.00 to file their corporate minutes. The mailing is made to look like an official state document. Corporations are required to keep minutes of their annual meeting, but there is no requirement in Florida to file these minutes. This is likely an attempt to confuse business owners because there is an "Annual Report" that must be filed, but it's rather simple and can be done at sunbiz.org.
Domain Name Trickery
Modern businesses rely on their websites. One of the first things we have to do for a website is to register a domain name. Domain registrations must be renewed, either every year, or every few years, depending on the length of the original registration. When the domain is nearing expiration, this information is publicly available and the scammers will send a "renewal" letter. They'd like you to think it's your current registrar and your just renewing, but you'd actually be switching from your current registrar to them. Be sure to read your renewal notices carefully.
Domain Name Trickery 2
Do you really need a .cn or .asia domain name? You may receive an email claiming to be from a Chinese domain registry asking if it's okay for some other company to register a domain name similar to yours, but with ".cn" or ".asia" at the end. It starts out like you are being given an opportunity to prevent this. It then turns out that the only way you can prevent it is if you register the names yourself, at great cost to you. You can safely ignore these emails. If you have a real need for a ".cn" or ".asia" domain, check with your registrar, technology specialist or business coach to ensure you purchase them from a reputable registrar.
Domain Name Trickery 3
Extra TLDs. By now, we've all seen ".com", ".net" and ".org" domain names. These suffixes are called the "top level domain" or "TLD". For most industries, ".com" is the only one that matters. You might choose to register ".net" just to prevent others from using it, and if you run a non-profit, you might consider the ".org". But, the scam is that someone will send you a letter that looks very much like a renewal notice, but it's actually an offer to sell you your domain name, but with a different TLD. These "offers" are usually at greatly inflated prices. Like I said about the Chinese domains, if you have a real need for an additional TLD, ask your business coach or technical advisor.
Cynthia has been helping businesses for over 20 years, so she is familiar with these and other ways that disreputable individuals and companies will try to separate you from your cash. If something looks like a scam, it probably is. If you're not sure, ask Cynthia.