Thieve Pose As Government Agents to Con Small Businesses in Tacoma - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Thieve Pose As Government Agents to Con Small Businesses in Tacoma

KENNEWICK, Wash. - A new scam targeting small business owners has the Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna very upset.

Businesses across the country are required to display various kinds of signs in the workplace to inform employees about safety, health, and other regulations.

According the McKenna a number of crooks are going into small businesses, posing as government agents, and telling the owners they do not have the right signs posted in their business.

The thieves demand cash and state that they will sell the owner the right sign.

There have been two similar situations in Tacoma.  Three men in dark suits allegedly entered a business on June 28th and asked to speak to the manager.  Owners reported that the suspects claimed to be with the government and said they were there to check the validity of the workplace signs.  They said that the owner could face a fine of up to 17,000 dollars if they did not have the correct signs posted and said they had signs available for 50-100 dollars.

McKenna said he fears similar scams could move to our area.  He said, "I'm really outraged when I hear reports of somebody being harassed by con artists.  Small business is tough enough as it is without scamers trying to rip off owners for an extra 100-dollars."

He warns owners to beware of people entering their business and demanding money. 

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries has a list of the required workplace posters and places where owners can get them.  The required signs are free from state and federal government agencies.