Treasury: Fraudsters Using Fake Letters in Collections Scam
May 26, 2022
Jessica Mathews / firstname.lastname@example.org
Livingston County taxpayers with past-due tax debts and others across the state are being warned about an aggressive scam making the rounds through the U.S. Postal Service.
The Michigan Department of Treasury says the fraudsters are using fake letters in a collections scam.
In the scheme, taxpayers receive a letter about an overdue tax bill that requests individuals immediately contact a toll-free number to resolve an outstanding state tax debt. The state says 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.
Deputy State Treasurer Glenn White said they’ve received reports that taxpayers are receiving these letters. He stressed that taxpayers have rights and if anyone has questions about an outstanding state tax debt, they should contact them through a verified number to talk about options.
It was noted that the piece of correspondence appears credible to the taxpayer because it uses specific personal facts pulled directly from publicly available information. A press release states 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. The official letters are sent through the U.S. Postal Service and 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. Officials say a customer service representative can log the scam, verify outstanding state debts and provide flexible payment options.