Today I received a letter headed “Online Business Registration” which has details of my business name and ABN.
Immediately I thought, and said to my wife, this has got to be a scam, as ASIC don’t send out renewals months in advance.
The 2nd line of the letter:
“This is not a letter from ASIC.” … Clearly it isn’t, how awesome of them to admit it!
Looking through the rest of it, it would appear to be a scam of the “send money now” for no reason type.
Further down it says it is not a renewal notice!
ASIC have warnings about this scam via emails, but it is interesting that they are going old school and posting out scams now.
I’ll post a copy of the letter later today when my wife returns, as the scanner is on her computer, and the wifi connection doesn’t appear to work.
It reminds me of the olden days when it was a profitable enterprise to mail out bogus invoices for some imaginary listing of the recipient’s business. They relied on a lack of due diligence in larger firms who just automatically approved and paid official looking invoices.
The ASIC scams keep on coming, another one arrived today, even though they appear to have lots of happy customers in online reviews!
I’ve written in the actual cost for renewals at ASIC above what this lot charge.
Yes, I don’t think this is actually a scam as such. They are simply offering a service at way above market rate.
Having said that, if you choose to do business with a company that you have never dealt with before and whose reputation you can’t really assess, you don’t actually know whether you will ever get anything for your money. It could be 100% scam where your money is funneled via mule accounts to an overseas destination, never to be seen again.
Best to stick with renewing directly through ASIC.
Security pro-tip … if you are going to blank out an address then also blank out the Australia Post 4-state barcode above it. A motivated person could decode the barcode and get your address anyway.
PS Since said barcode has significant redundancy (to allow for successful scans in sub-optimal conditions), it is always a good idea to blank out the entire barcode, as has been done on the most recent image but was not done on a much earlier image (and not done at all on a third image).
@gordon has had multiple attempts to leak his address.
Sigh. And the QR code too. It leaks the ABN, which in turn will probably leak all the registration details anyway.
I am very concerned about the practices that some businesses have of sending out letters for renewing a Business Name.
I have a registered business name through ASIC Connect which is due for renewal in July. Currently the fees for renewal are $37 (one year) or $88 (3years) and ASIC sends out reminders about a month before.
Yet, with four months to go before the renewal date, I received three different letters from companies offering to ‘renew’ my Business name for me. One company (Registry Australia Pty Ltd) provided prices: $99 (one year); $189 (3 years), which is substantially higher than the actual fees charged by ASIC.
While there is a notation at the bottom of the page stating “this is not a renewal notice issued by ASIC…”, I believe that a lot of small business people could easily be tricked into paying way too much for this service when it is very easy to renew the Business name online with ASIC.
It seems to me that this practice should be illegal. What do others think?
As indicated above, it isn’t illegal. There are (legitimate) businesses which provide services to their clients to renew all matter of thing business related. Some business use such services as they find it easier for someone else to manage it for them…which is why they charge fees higher than what one can get if they go direct through ASIC Connect.
It is a direct marketing type letter touting for their business…offering the service to do the renewal for you. What I would be doing is to contact them directly and asking them to be removed from their mailing list. I would also be saying if you receive similar correspondence from them in the future, you will be reporting it as unsolicited advertising material to the Distribution Standards Board.
Alternatively, if they send you another ‘renewal’ next year, cross off your address and mark as return to sender. This is what we do as we find that they don’t often respond to requests to be removed from mailing lists. Getting return to sender seems to work better.
As a general observation those using such services probably initiated the service and are aware of it. These legal but low life companies scam people by appearing to be ‘their services’ or ‘ASIC’ representatives without actually making the claim, to stay legal.
Offering a service usually has a distinctly different look from sending what for many people appears to be an invoice to be paid.