Scammers sending deceptive letters to taxpayers

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LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan Department of Treasury officials say scammers have been targeting taxpayers with past-due debts by using letters that appear to be from the government.

Michigan taxpayers are receiving letters that ask people to immediately call a toll-free number to resolve issues with state tax debts and threatens to seize taxpayers’ assets, such as property and Social Security benefits, if the problem is not settled, according to the state treasury department.

“Scammers are going back to the basics to trick taxpayers,” state treasurer Rachael Eubanks said in a press release. “Taxpayers have rights. If you have questions about an outstanding state debt, please don’t hesitate to contact us through the number listed on our website so that we can talk about options.”

Officials say the letters can appear to be credible because it includes specific facts about the outstanding tax debt pulled directly from publicly available information. Scammers are using the letters to lure taxpayers into making payments to criminals, the treasury department states.

While state officials communicate with folks through letters, they provide people several options to settle outstanding debts and include information on taxpayers’ rights.

People who receive a letter from a scammer or have questions about their state debts should call the treasury’s collections service center at 517.636.5265. More information about Michigan’s taxes can be found online.  

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