Watch out for tax time scams


Tax time is a prime season for scammers looking to steal your money. The state Department of Revenue is warning taxpayers to be careful to make sure they don’t fall victim.

Letters sent to taxpayers across the state claim to be from the Tax Processing Center. The letters threaten to seize property if the recipient doesn’t call an 800 number and pay up.

“It’s something designed to try to put someone in a sense of fear, so they’ll act quickly and lose some of their hard-earned money,” Revenue spokesman Jeffrey Johnson said.

Johnson says the Revenue Department would never use the type of threatening language found in the letters.

Another scam seen around tax season is “phishing” schemes that use legitimate-looking emails to get usernames and passwords when the recipient clicks on a link.

“You can’t be too cautious in this day and age,” Johnson said. “You really have to just watch out for yourself.”

To avoid falling victim, closely examine any notice or message you receive. Avoid clicking on suspicious attachments or links, and never respond to requests for unusual payment methods, like gift cards.

“Certainly give us a call if there’s any question about the legitimacy of something that you receive in the mail,” Johnson said.

If you think you may have fallen victim to one of these scams, you can contact the Department of Revenue’s fraud detection and analysis unit.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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