|By State Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne)
The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue has issued a warning about a mail scam in which con artists have tried to defraud individuals by threatening them with legal action or criminal prosecution if they don’t pay an illegitimate tax debt immediately.
According to Dauphin County officials, several residents have recently reported receiving notifications through the mail from the “Tax Processing Center.” The notices say the recipient owes “The State of Pennsylvania” unpaid taxes and a “warranted lien” has been issued in their name.
The notices pressure recipients to immediately call the phone number provided to avoid criminal penalty, property seizure and civil proceedings. The notices say the phone number provided will connect callers with a “Levy and Warrant Officer.”
Many times, con artists will pose as a government entity or an official business. If you are targeted by a con artist through the mail, phone or email, do not provide personal information or money until you are sure you are speaking to a legitimate representative.
Con artists often design vague communications to cast a wide net to lure in as many victims as possible. Examine the notice for identifying information that can be verified. Look for blatant factual errors and other inconsistencies, such as a fake return address. The Department of Revenue will send multiple letters to taxpayers if there is a legitimate liability owed.
Conduct research online using information included in a potentially fraudulent notice, such as the company name, address or telephone number, to see if a scam has been reported by other people or government agencies.
If you believe you are a victim of this scam or have been targeted by a con artist, contact your local law enforcement agency. You can also call the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection at 800-441-2555. If you receive a mailing you believe is mail fraud, contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Representative Tarah Toohil
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office