State Department of Revenue warns of fraudulent letters | Police, emergency and courts

The scammers impersonate the State Department of Revenue by sending fraudulent letters to Pennsylvania business owners in the mail urging them to hand over their accounting records.

State officials said the purpose of the scheme was to trick unsuspecting taxpayers into providing sensitive financial information, which the criminals behind the scheme can use for a number of potentially illicit activities. seriously harm a company’s financial situation.

“This is a prime example of fraudsters impersonating a government agency as they attempt to convince hard-working Pennsylvanians to release sensitive information about their businesses,” Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell said. .

Although these counterfeit notices bear the department’s name and logo, the notices contain suspicious and inaccurate details that can help differentiate a counterfeit notice sent by a scammer from a legitimate notice sent by the Department of Revenue.

For example, the counterfeit notice does not include a return address. A Ministry of Revenue notice will always include an official Ministry of Revenue address as the return address.

Additionally, the infringement notice addresses the recipient as “Dear Business Owner”. When the Ministry of Revenue attempts to contact a business through a mailed notice, the notice is usually addressed to the business owner or the name of the business.

And the notice is sent by the “Pennsylvania Department of Revenue Tax Investigation & Enforcement Unit” and states that the company is “under investigation by the Pennsylvania State Revenue and Cash Disbursement Unit”. Although the department conducts criminal tax investigations and tax law enforcement, the units listed on the counterfeit notice are bogus.

Authorities said the purpose of the scam was to trick the recipient of the letter into thinking he was under investigation by the Department of Revenue for an “alleged breach of overdue sales tax liability.” “.

The letter also threatens taxpayers saying that penalties will be imposed on their accounts. Additionally, the letter includes contact information for a “resolution agent” and urges the business owner to provide accounting documents prepared by a licensed professional, such as a lawyer or CPA.

State officials said providing this information allows scammers to scour accounting records for sensitive information such as bank account numbers and other financial data, which could be used to conduct unauthorized transactions. authorized, claim fraudulent tax refunds and even apply for loans under the company name.

“We urge Pennsylvania business owners to be on high alert if they receive a suspicious notice that includes the Department of Revenue’s name and logo,” Hassell continued. “If you are in any doubt as to the legitimacy of a department notice, please use the contact information listed on our website, revenue.pa.gov. This is the best way to ensure that you are speaking to a legitimate member of the Ministry of Revenue staff.

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