Below is a press release from Attorney General Lynn Fitch:
Attorney General Lynn Fitch reached a settlement with Centurion Filing Services, LLC, which conducts business as MS Certificate Service.
“It’s hard enough to start a business without someone misleading you, especially in a pandemic,” said Attorney General Lynn Fitch. “I stand by my commitment to protect Mississippi consumers from unfair and deceptive business practices that seek to scam them out of their hard-earned money.”
The consent judgment resolves allegations that Centurion Filing Services, LLC violated the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act. The company sent solicitations to new business owners, containing elements meant to make the correspondence look like an official State form, charging a fee to obtain a Certificate of Existence from the Mississippi Secretary of State. The solicitation charged these new businesses over three times the actual cost of a certificate, which are not even necessary for the businesses targeted by Centurion. Nearly 6,000 businesses have been affected and have lost as much as $374,125, total.
Under the terms of the agreement, Centurion must:
• Stop using the solicitation that the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office
deemed deceptive and use a format approved by the State, and
• Refund any customers who believe they were misled by the solicitation letter.
Any consumer who paid Centurion for a Certificate of Existence using this form and believes they were a victim of this scam may request a refund of $62.50 by contacting:
Centurion at firstname.lastname@example.org or The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office at email@example.com.
You must request your refund within 3 years of making the payment to Centurion.
Any consumers who have questions may call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 601-973-4938.