JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office (AG) filed a lawsuit against Centurion Filing Services, LLC, for alleged deceptive solicitations that targeted new businesses in the state.
Secretary of State Michael Watson said his office has received several complaints to its Business Services Division about the solicitations. He said a cease-and-desist letter was sent to Centurion from the AG’s Office, and the company has not responded.
“This scam has affected more than 2,700 of our small businesses,” said Watson. “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to hinder our business community, and no Mississippian should face the additional nightmare of becoming a victim of fraud. I’m proud of my team for working diligently to gather the facts in this case, and I’m thankful for the Attorney General’s partnership in bringing justice those who have been impacted.”
According to Watson, his office first received reports about Centurion in February 2020. Customers said the company operated under the fictitious name, MS Certificate Service, and it targeted new businesses by sending a misleading “2020 Certificate of Existence Request Form” through the mail. The document allegedly encouraged business owners to pay a $90.50 fee to receive a Mississippi Certificate of Existence. Watson said the scammers have received between $170,000 to $260,000.
Mississippi businesses can receive a Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of State’s website, sos.ms.gov. Online processing costs $25 and the certificate is available immediately after purchase.
Businesses may report deceptive or misleading solicitations such as these to our Business Services Division at (601) 359-1633, or the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-281-4418 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watson said the solicitation below was not sent or authorized by his office. Registered businesses in Mississippi do not have to respond or send payment to the third party, MS Certificate Service.
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