Fraudsters Using Fake Letters in Collections Scam
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan taxpayers with past-due tax debts should be aware of an aggressive scam making the rounds through the U.S. Postal Service, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury (Treasury).
In the scheme, taxpayers receive a letter about an overdue tax bill that requests individuals to immediately contact a toll-free number to resolve an outstanding state tax debt. The letter aggressively threatens to seize a taxpayer’s property — including bank accounts, wages, business assets, cars, real estate, refunds and cash — if the debt is not settled.
“We recently received reports about taxpayers receiving these fake letters in the mail,” said Deputy State Treasurer Glenn White, who oversees Treasury’s Revenue Services programs. “Taxpayers have rights. If you have questions about an outstanding state tax debt, please contact us through a verified number so we can talk about options.”
The piece of correspondence appears credible to the taxpayer because it uses specific personal facts pulled directly from publicly available information. The scammer’s letter attempts to lure the taxpayer into a situation where they could make a payment to a criminal.
The state Treasury Department corresponds with taxpayers through official letters that use state of Michigan letterhead that embody both the names of the governor and state treasurer. These official letters are sent through the U.S. Postal Service, provide several options to resolve an outstanding debt and outline 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 517-636-5265. A customer service representative can log the scam, verify outstanding state debts and provide flexible payment options.