As of January 1, 2012, there are new laws to prevent people from sending misleading solicitations to Californians. These misleading, or scam, solicitations appear to be from California government agencies and threaten business owners with fines if they do not file required forms. The people behind these scams charge several hundred dollars to file forms that would only have a small fee if they were filed directly with the government.
To protect California business owners, Secretary of State Debra Bowen sponsored Assembly Bill 75, which now requires new disclaimers to be added to third–party mailings. The new law:
THIS PRODUCT OR SERVICE HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED OR ENDORSED BY ANY GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY, AND THIS OFFER IS NOT BEING MADE BY AN AGENCY OF THE GOVERNMENT.
California businesses that receive a scam solicitation letter are encouraged to mail a written complaint along with the entire solicitation (including the solicitation letter, the outer and return envelopes, and all related documents) to the California Attorney General's office, Public Inquiry Unit, P.O. Box 944255, Sacramento, California 94244–2550.
A complaint form, which can be completed online and printed to mail, is available on the California Attorney General's website at www.oag.ca.gov/consumers.