State Official Says Tennessees Targeted by New Scam

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Residents of Tennessee received an alert Wednesday from Secretary of State Tre Hargett about an official-looking mail from the TN UCC reporting service that falsely suggests that businesses or individuals need a copy of a certain finance statement filed against them.

“Our Business and Charities Division and I were recently made aware of a new deceptive mailer trying to take advantage of Tennesseans,” Hargett said. “The appearance and language used on this letter attempt to induce borrowers to pay an excessive amount for a document that they will probably never need.”

According to a Wednesday, September 21 release from the Hargett office, the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) is a comprehensive set of laws governing sales and other business transactions.

Officials described a UCC-1 financing statement as a legal form that a creditor files to give notice that it has the right to take possession and sell certain assets belonging to the debtor in order to repay a specific debt.

UCC-1 funding statements are reportedly common in Tennessee, with approximately 200,000 issued each year by the Secretary of State’s Business and Charities Division.

Wednesday’s press release says the alleged sender of the scam – Tennessee UCC Statement Request Form – is trying to trick Tennessee residents into paying $107 for the TN UCC Statement Service to request a copy of the UCC-1 financing statement in the debtor’s name.

Even if the sender implies that the recipient needs a copy of the UCC-1 funding statement, officials said that’s rarely the case.

If you would like a copy of a UCC-1 financing statement, any business or individual can request one directly from the Secretary of State’s office for only $15 by phone at 615-741-2286, by mail, or online.

“I encourage Tennesseans to be wary of any mail they receive from third-party companies that say they will work with my office on your behalf,” Hargett said. “These organizations are in no way affiliated with or authorized by my office. They charge excessive amounts for something you will probably never need and, if you do, can be easily obtained through our office.

Companies and individuals who receive suspicious mail regarding a UCC-1 funding statement are encouraged to report it to the Business and Charities Division by calling 615-741-2286 or emailing TNSOS. CERT@tn.gov, as well as the Tennessee District Attorney. General’s Office by calling 615-741-3491 or following this link.


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