People who don't owe any overdue taxes are bombarded with scam phone calls all the time, but what do you do when you actually do owe back taxes and get scammed? That's a very real issue at the moment according to the Michigan Department of Treasury, as scam artists are growing increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to relieve you of your money in a fraudulent manner.
The department has just issued a warning today to Michigan taxpayers who do have past-due tax debts. They say you should be aware of a new scam making the rounds through the U.S. Postal Service, according to their alert on the matter.
In the scheme, taxpayers are sent what appears to be a government-looking letter about an overdue tax bill, asking the taxpayer to immediately contact a toll-free number to resolve a tax debt or face asset seizure. The piece of correspondence appears credible to the taxpayer because it uses specific personal facts about the outstanding tax debt pulled directly from publicly available information.
The scammer’s letter attempts to lure the taxpayer into a situation where they could end up making a payment to a criminal.
Deputy State Treasurer Ann Good says, “All taxpayers need to be aware of this scam.” Good oversees Treasury’s Financial and Administrative Services programs, and she says, “If you have questions about an outstanding state debt, please don’t hesitate to contact us. The state Treasury Department’s correspondence involves official letters sent through the U.S. Postal Service, including several options to resolve your debt and information outlining your taxpayer rights.”
Taxpayers who receive a letter from a scammer or have questions about their state debts should call Treasury’s Collections Service Center at 1-866-218-7224. A customer service representative can log the scam, verify outstanding state debts and provide flexible payment options.
To learn more about Michigan’s taxes and the collections process, go to www.michigan.gov/taxes or follow the state Treasury Department on Twitter at @MITreasury.