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Consumer Alert: Scam hits small business owners

A heads up for small business owners tonight. A new scam is stealing millions of dollars from thousands of people through a simple letter in the mail. Here is what you need to know to protect your business.

"My first instinct was to pay for it then I remembered something I'd been told a while back so I looked into it further," said fraud victim Suzanne Mullen.

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 the 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 billed more than ten million dollars from thousands 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 penalty," said US Postal Inspector Wynter Kugel.

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. 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 Mullens.

Postal inspectors have identified the suspect, and taken the necessary steps to ensure the suspect stops his deceptive mailings. Postal inspectors are considering civil action, which can mean the return of money that the suspect may still have.


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