Fake or Scam Mailings
Starting a business puts you and your business into the public domain. Your address and information now live online (as a requirement), as do other pieces of information such as when you need to renew with the Colorado Secretary of State, whether you have employees, and whether you have a trademark.
As a result of this required information being public, unsavory companies will have access to your information. These companies send out notices to public companies that have obligations with these public entities. They attempt to have companies pay for services that are either free or low cost.
Take, for example, your periodic report.
Your actual periodic report needs to be filed with the Colorado Secretary of State via its website every year. You receive a notice for it about three months before its final due date. It costs $10.00 to file online. The e-notice comes from the Colorado Secretary of State (e-mail suffix @sos.state.co.us). It has a header that includes the Secretary of State’s name and the website (www.sos.state.co.us). It will inform you that this is an automatically generated email at the bottom, with a contact e-mail address with a suffix @sos.state.co.us.
A scam notice or instruction will be by mail, most often. It will be titled something along the lines of “DATE – Periodic Report Instruction Form”. It will include a processing fee along with the $10 fee. It will request for checks payable to a non-state address (for example, “Workplace Compliance Services”). It may have space for a credit card form. Sometimes, they will have scary wording as well, such as informing you that you will be shut down.
If ever in doubt about a notice from the Secretary of State, Colorado Division of Labor, or United States Patent and Trademark Office, send it to your attorney or bring it to the SBDC. We can tell you if it is official or a scam.
Estes Park EDC President/CEO
Adam Shake served nearly 15 years in the U.S. Army serving in Desert Storm, Desert Shield, CONUS, Panama, Somalia, Bosnia and Europe. He then served as the Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Agency Program Director after 9/11 before starting an Environmental News Agency. After arriving in Estes Park, Shake founded Neanderthal Productions, an Internet marketing company. Since his arrival in Estes Park, Shake has served on the boards of Visit Estes Park, Estes Valley Partners for Commerce and the Rocky Mountain Performing Arts Center as well as volunteering for many other community initiatives.
Larimer SBDC Senior Director
Mike O’Connell earned a business degree with a marketing emphasis from Purdue University, and worked in a variety of executive sales, marketing, and business unit management positions, including eleven years with Thermadyne Holdings, North America’s third largest manufacturer of metal cutting and welding equipment. In 2001, O’Connell purchased Mountain Woods Furniture (MWF), a leading national designer/manufacturer of rustic hand-crafted furniture, and co-owned and operated that business until its’ sale in December 2011. MWF’s products were sold through Cabelas, national furniture e-tailers, furniture stores, and to resorts and lodges desiring a rustic style. He provided over 6,000 paychecks to American manufacturing workers during his ownership of MWF.
O’Connell is currently a Board member with NoCoNet, a volunteer organization which provides support, advice, and networking opportunities to 250+ professional job-seekers in Northern Colorado. He enjoys spending time with his three children, hiking and exercising, playing guitar, and photography.
Digital Marketing, PPC, Web Design, SEO
Hello, my name is Greg Moore and I’m a digital marketer, entrepreneur, and business consultant. My passion is finding hidden profit and growth potential in ANY business.
After graduating from The University of New Mexico with a degree in Applied Mathematics, I entered the workforce as a Satellite Engineer maintaining software for the government. Later, my wife and I answered an internal desire to enter the business world, so we started our own remodeling company selling over $50 million in less than a decade. Due to innovative marketing, advertising efforts, and creativity, our business was very prosperous. Much of our success was earned by our core belief that empowering and mentoring employees evokes a mutually beneficial environment.
Now I run AvaWing, a digital marketing agency and consulting firm in Fort Collins, CO. Understanding the challenges of being an entrepreneur, like working with little capital and needing guided direction and quick, useful information, enables me to pass my knowledge onto others. I also know that as a small business owner, implementing smart and economical strategies to get sales, leads, and clients is crucial to you.
Through conducting national workshops, 100’s of sales team meetings, and pitching large corporations like The Home Depot and Ace Hardware, I’ve gained invaluable industry knowledge and hands on experience. Working in the fields of Engineering, Pharmaceuticals, Chemistry, Health & Wellness, Photography, Hospitality, and Home Improvement has taught me substantial business expertise to offer back to our community.
Working with you to lift your entrepreneurship spirit to help you grow, build, and escalate your business will not only create higher profits, but teach you how to maximize the potential in your specific industry.