FORT MYERS, Fla. - A warning has been issued for business owners. A new con is stealing millions of dollars. It's happening to thousands of small business owners through a letter in the mail.
The first of the year is the time to renew LLC and corporate registrations. You might mistake this scam letter for a real one. The letter asks you to renew a fee but it's a scam. Even the post office is tracking it.
"My first instinct was to pay for it then I remembered something I'd been told awhile back so I looked into it further," said Susan Mullen, a fraud victim.
Susan Mullen, a small business owner, got a letter in the mail asking for her business license renewal fee. But then she remembered a warning she'd heard.
"There were a lot of scams regarding the renewals for LLC's, to watch out for that, I wouldn't be getting anything in the mail," said Mullen.
The letter, in fact, was a scam that bills more than $10 million from thousand of victims.
"These small business owners got a document in the mail that looked very much like a bill asking them to remit payment immediately for $175 and if they didn't pay there would be a penalty," said Wynter Kugel, U.S. Postal Inspector.
Postal inspectors started tracking the case after thousands of complaints.
"This mailing had no numbers, email addresses and no website. There was no way to contact other than mailing your money to the post office," said Kugel.
Inspectors say that is a red flag too. Another piece of advice, read the fine print.
"On the form, there was tiny writing that said, 'this is not a bill.' I think read the fine print and really go over it before you write a check," said Mullen.
Postal inspectors have worked to find the suspect and have made sure he stops his deceptive mailings. Inspectors are considering civil action which often results with the return of funds that the suspect may still have.