Lesson learned the hard way….

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Well…talk about a hard lesson learned. I had been providing call center services to an alleged non profit for several weeks. They provided community service online, a red flag I should have paid attention to, for a fee. They stated on their website they were 501(c) registered and accepted by the courts.

Right away I noticed that quite a few calls were from people who either were trying to get refunds cause their letters were denied by the courts (even though the website stated no letter had ever been rejected). This was the second red flag that I did notice, but was reluctant to admit cause the cash flow was needed. Then the other night a customer called and stated outright that the courts denied his letter cause the organization was not 501(c) registered, therefor not a non profit. This red flag I could not ignore.

So I did some research on the IRS website. I was able to gain the organizations EIN number from a PDF file they had of their original approval of 501(c) status from 2005. They were not listed as a current non profit by the IRS. I did a search by name and location on the IRS and again….nothing. Did a Google search and could not find them listed any where as a non profit.

Next I did some investigative work using WhoIs to gather information on the website I was representing. The owner of the website was not listed as the alleged non profit, the website had only been operation for 2 years, even though they stated they had been opened since 2005. Seemed nothing they state on their website was true.

I immediately terminated my contract with this organization. I would not risk being involved when the repercussions of providing false community service letters is finally discovered by the authorities.

Moral of the story here. Do some research on clients BEFORE you enter into a contract with them. If I did not catch this when I did, it could have ended very badly for my business and myself personally.

And yes, I did report them for being a scam.

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About Domenic Marchetti
I'm beginning the transition of working in the Emergency Medical Services field to providing business services. I have started my own business called RI Business Services. This is my story as I go through the steps of trying to get myself established in this new field.

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