Fear-mongering, creating chaos, panic, and confusion, is the goal of some unscrupulous companies, such as W.C.S., to get you to act and pay them money. Each year, a company called W.C.S. sends out an official-looking letter about filing my annual report for my LLC. It has a registry number, a generated customer ID number, and many other official information pieces. The state of Oregon confirms that it’s a legitimate business and will refund anyone who files a request. Still, you can never get back the time wasted because of this less-than-honorable business tactic.  If I needed an attorney, or a friend did, I’d check to ensure they were not part of that organization. It even lists my own attorney on their pre-filled form. The fine you see is what the fee is, then what they want me to pay them to do this.

This one isn’t as bad as some of the letters that have gone out to friends of mine who are having a hard time paying their mortgage.

A similar tactic is sending out postcards in blue, yellow, and pink – depending on where you are in the series to urge you to have them help you sell your property quickly to avoid foreclosure. It’s misleading. Some letters these neighbors have received do not build trust but only add to the fear and anxiety due to the wordiness of the top headline. They are preying on the distress people are experiencing. They list the homeowner’s name and possibly other personal information that is part of the public record.

If you have friends or business associates receiving these types of letters, help them slow down and read the fine print. I’m grateful to be part of organizations and have associates I can run these things by if there is any doubt they are a scam. I call them a scam because they are implying situations, preying on fear, rather than being a compassionate resource – in the case of a real estate agent, or an option to how you currently file your forms for annual reports in case you are looking to change your filing agent of record.