SEBRAE Santa Catarina warns against scams targeting MEIs

SEBRAE Santa Catarina warns against scams targeting MEIs
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By Ligado no Sul05/13/2024 11:30 am

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Santa Catarina has been a frequent scene of attempted scams targeting individual microentrepreneurs (MEIs). These scams involve demands to charge fees and contributions to associations or unions. The Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae) in Santa Catarina is issuing alerts about these frauds, raising awareness of the risks that MEIs face.

Aline Pereira, state manager of entrepreneur rooms and MEI service at Sebrae in Santa Catarina, reports that complaints from entrepreneurs about attempted scams are frequent. “The State has more than 500 thousand active MEIs and, unfortunately, the greater the number of MEIs, the greater the number of scams, especially with the advancement of technology. This is a worrying reality we are facing.”

The risks for individual microentrepreneurs begin before the business is formalized. Although the process is free and can be carried out by the entrepreneur himself, there are illegal portals that pretend to be the official government portal, charging fees for the services provided. “MEI does not need to pay anything to open your business. Everything is done on the federal government portal, completely free of charge.”

After formalization, fraud attempts intensify, with contacts and emails demanding charges from supposed associations or unions. “Often, shortly after formalizing the MEI, entrepreneurs begin to receive alarming emails from scammers, demanding the payment of fees to keep the MEI active. These messages are sent aggressively and with confusing information, aiming to deceive entrepreneurs.”

The only official fee charged to MEIs is for the Simplified Collection Document (DAS), which the entrepreneur himself issues within the federal government platform. “MEI needs to pay the DAS monthly by the 20th of each month to maintain its regularization. This is the only expense that MEI must assume”, explains the Sebrae manager.

The guidance is clear: do not click on suspicious links, nor provide personal data to email or WhatsApp contacts, much less pay bills received through these electronic means. If the entrepreneur falls for a virtual scam, it is essential to file a police report. “It is important that law enforcement authorities are aware of these frauds so that they can investigate and take action to combat these scammers.”

To obtain guidance or clarify doubts about any suspicious charge attempt, entrepreneurs can look for the nearest entrepreneur office or call the Sebrae hotline: 0800-570-0800.

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The article is in Portuguese

Brazil

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