(Boise) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and the Idaho State Tax Commission are again alerting Idahoans to new tax scams targeting state residents.
The alert comes after residents in Middleton and Orofino made state tax officials aware of materials they received in the mail.
The mailing sent to the Middleton resident was from the “Benefits Suspension Unit” in Canyon County. No such unit exists. The mailer was labeled as a “Notice of Intent (to) Levy Social Security Benefits” and threatened to garnish the recipient’s Social Security benefits, wages, bank accounts and federal tax refunds. The mailer demanded payment of more than $9,600 by April 10. It included a working phone number that was answered by a man identifying himself as a representative of “the American Tax Group” as recently as April 11.
The mailing sent to an Orofino resident appears to have originated in Paramount, California. It is purportedly from the “Bureau of Tax Enforcement Internal Processing Service” in Clearwater County. No such agency exists. The mailing, though, included an accurate dollar figure for an actual tax debt owed by the recipient. The fraudulent correspondence threatens to seize the individual’s property if payment arrangements aren’t made quickly.
“These mailings are particularly concerning because they show scammers are researching actual tax records and then tailoring their scam attempts specific to individuals,” Wasden says. “If there’s ever any reason to question the legitimacy of a tax document you receive in the mail, call tax officials – not on the numbers provided in the mailing – and check its authenticity. Be especially suspicious of anything that aggressively demands payment in a short amount of time.”
The alert was issued after Wasden and the Tax Commission warned Idahoans of similar scams in December.
Idahoans can check the status of their state taxes with the Tax Commission by calling 208-334-7660 or toll free at 1-800-972-7660.
“All the technology and professional efforts in the world can’t stop fraudsters from throwing new scams at taxpayers. We rely on taxpayers themselves being aware and willing to alert us when something just doesn’t seem right,” Tax Commission Chairman Ken Roberts said. “We want to ensure that all Idahoans are aware of the potential for fraud, and we really appreciate the public’s help in uncovering it.”
If you have questions about these or other scams, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 208-334-2424 or toll free at 1-800-432-3545.