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Scam Targets Business Name Registrations

SALEM -- Secretary of State Bill Bradbury warns all Oregon businesses -- especially small businesses -- to beware of a new scam that looks deceptively like a mailing from the Corporation Division and

SALEM -- Secretary of State Bill Bradbury warns all Oregon businesses -- especially small businesses -- to beware of a new scam that looks deceptively like a mailing from the Corporation Division and offers to renew their business name registration.

Its charges are two and a half times the cost required by the state.

"We pride ourselves on having a very affordable business registry system that works well for Oregon businesses," said Bradbury. "Don't let yourself be taken advantage of by paying unnecessary fees for assumed business name (also known as DBA) renewals. It's a real 'buyer beware' situation."

A number of businesses report having received an "official looking invoice" entitled: "Assumed Business Name Expiration Notice" informing the business owner that their registration is set to expire and requesting a fee of $125 to renew the registration. The mailings show a return address of 3628 River Road North, #102, Keizer, but they are really from a company in San Diego, Calif., called Assumed Business Name Renewal Service.

These invoices were not sent by Oregon's Corporation Division and is not authorized by the State of Oregon. While the invoice contains references to Oregon Business Law, businesses are advised that they can easily renew Assumed Business Names themselves with the Secretary of State's Corporation Division. The cost is $50.

The Secretary of State mails two-year renewal notices to all registered businesses approximately 45 days prior to the anniversary date of the business. Renewals can also be completed online at www.filinginoregon.com.

Bradbury said businesses owners should always read solicitations warily to determine if they are, in fact, from a government agency and require a response. Clever solicitations from some private organizations are difficult to distinguish from government correspondence at first glance.

Whether delivered by regular mail or internet, bogus notices are a form of fraud popularly known as "phishing" and should be reported to the Oregon Department of Justice consumer affairs office at 503-378-4320 or www.doj.state.or.us.

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