ShareThis Page
Pennsylvania

Scams abound at tax time

Deb Erdley
| Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, 5:30 p.m.
Metrocreative

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, derdley@tribweb.com or via Twitter @deberdley_trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me