Be On the Look-Out for State Tax Debt Collection Scam
Suffolk County Clerk Judy Pascale would like to bring to the attention of Suffolk County residents a recently released scam regarding fraudulent tax debt collections. Law enforcement officials and other public officials have recently received reports of fraudulent activity by scammers posing as debt collectors seeking to settle alleged outstanding state tax debts. The scammers are pressuring consumers into sending payments via money order to satisfy debts that the consumers may not actually owe.
This latest scheme involves scammers telling consumers they owe a tax debt to the state, which may not actually exist, and then promising to settle the alleged debt for a fraction of the cost that they claim is owed. Some of the calls have been reported as coming from the number 305-507-8505. Scammers are reportedly using high-pressure tactics to intimidate consumers into purchasing money orders to satisfy debts and then instructing them to call back for instructions on how to submit the payment. Both federal and state tax authorities send notifications in writing. Consumers should be wary of demands for tax payment via phone, especially if the caller suggests the use of a money order to remit payment.
The Attorney General’s Office offered the following tips in an effort to help New Yorkers avoid various tax-themed scams:
The IRS and legitimate government agencies never demand payment by phone;
If you owe money, you will receive a legitimate notice in writing that identifies the agency and the reason you owe money;
Do not give out personal information, including your Social Security number or bank account information, to telephone callers;
Legitimate government organizations will never threaten arrest or deportation for failure to pay a debt.
Suffolk County residents must be vigilant consumers and should report instances of fraud to the New York State Attorney General’s Office. Consumers who believe they have been victims of any tax scams are urged to file complaints by visiting the Attorney General’s Office website www.ag.ny.gov or calling 1-800-771-7755.