The Idaho State Tax Commission and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden are warning the public about a scam targeting taxpayers that is meant to intimidate and steal money from residents, according to a press release.
Taxpayers have reported receiving threatening letters from the “Tax Processing Center” or “Tax Processing Unit” claiming the state will seize the recipient’s property and garnish their wages for unpaid taxes. The letters are designed to resemble official government notices and include fake filing numbers, according to the release.
A representative of the Idaho AG’s Consumer Protection Division contacted the agency and spoke to a man who said he was with “Lien Recovery” and that a lien had been filed for unpaid taxes, the release said. The man asked if the letter was sent to a person or a business and whether it was “state or federal.” The representative told the man the letter came to her personally. When asked for his company’s name, the man hung up.
“Actual government agencies don’t hide who they are or hang up on you when questioned,” Wasden said. “If you’re not sure whether a government notice you received is legitimate, don’t hesitate to contact my Consumer Protection Division for assistance.”
To avoid scams like this, follow these tips:
- Examine notices for errors, misspellings and incorrect information. Scammers often pose as government agencies.
- Research notices online. Someone else may have identified this scam and posted information online from other parts of the country, or other states and media outlets may have published alerts. Search any identified contact information like phone numbers, addresses and names.
- Contact the government agency directly. Don’t call telephone numbers provided in suspicious notices. To verify a notice, find the contact for the actual agency and call with your questions.
- Never pay debts with gift cards, reloadable debit cards or wire services. Government agencies will never ask you to pay through those methods.
The AG’s Consumer Protection Division can be reached at (800) 432-3545, (208) 334-2424 or through the AG’s online contact form. To contact the state Tax Commission, call (208) 332-4060 or submit a fraud referral online through the Commission’s TAP webpage.
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