Scams abound at tax time
When the tax man comes, the scam man isn’t far behind.
Pennsylvania Department of Revenue Sec. Dan Hassell warned taxpayers Wednesday that phishing schemes con artists use to steal money and personal information to file bogus tax returns are common every year at tax time.
“Criminals use high-pressure tactics and threats to pressure hard-working Pennsylvanians into providing money or sensitive information. We want the public to be aware of these scams to avoid taking action that they’ll regret,” Hassell said.
He cautioned taxpayers to be wary of:
*Final Demand for Payment” schemes in which notices stamped “Tax Processing Center” and threaten seizure of property if the recipient fails to make immediate payment to the “State of Pennsylvania.” The bogus notices also typically include an 800-number recipients can call to avoid enforcement.
*Phishing or Malware scams that involve emails designed to elicit passwords, social security numbers or personal information that could aid identity theft.
*Criminals creating fake websites and posing as a government agency, credit card company or bank to elicit personal information.
* Unusual email attachments.
*Requests for unusual payment vehicles such as reloadable debit cards, gift cards or money wiring services.
Victims of identity theft or those who discover a fraudulent Pennsylvania personal income tax return was filed using their identity should contact the Fraud Detection and Analysis Unit at 717-772-9297 or RA-RVPITFRAUD@pa.gov.
Deb Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Deb at 724-850-1209, email@example.com or via Twitter @deberdley_trib.