Lansing, MI

Michigan Department of Treasury warns state taxpayers of tax scam

Wayne Dover

LANSING, MI — Michigan Department of Treasury is warning the state’s taxpayers to remain wary of scammers impersonating tax officials through phone calls or emails and even fake letters through the U.S. Postal Service.

The department notices scams where criminals pretend to be government officials and demand cash through a wire transfer, prepaid debit card or gift card from their victims. These scammers tend to make “urgent” and “aggressive” requests through forged letters, robocalls and emails.

The criminals often pose as officials or agents from the state Treasury Department, the Internal Revenue Service or another government agency. They typically use official-sounding employee titles, a person’s name, address and other personal information to intimidate victims.

The department ensures that they never use threats or demand taxpayer’s banking details to resolve tax matters. It will instead notify the taxpayer by firstly sending out a bill.

Unlike the scammers, the Treasury Department doesn’t involve law enforcement nor threaten to take over the taxpayer’s property if the debt remains unpaid.

If the taxpayer is asked about sensitive information like credit or debit card numbers or to pay the taxes but no amount owed is ever mentioned through phone calls or email, they are advised to cease communications by hanging up or deleting the email immediately.

The Treasury Department provides flexible payment options through its service center, which taxpayers can reach via phone at 517-636-5265.

“Scammers don’t take summer vacations,” said Deputy Treasurer Glenn White. “Taxpayers have rights. If you have questions about an outstanding state tax debt, please contact us through a verified number so we can talk about options.”

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