Washington State Department of Revenue is warning all state taxpayers about deceptive emails that have been sent to various businesses and a number of individuals by tax scammers. These emails inform taxpayers that the State Department of Revenue (DOR) filed tax liens against their properties with the Court or Secretary of the State. They also include contact information for the so-called State DOR office, which includes an email and a fax number. However, both pieces of information are invalid.
The purpose of these emails is to persuade a taxpayer to make a cash-by-wire transfer to the scammer, who pretends to represent Washington State DOR. The message even includes a deadline of January 20, 2015, to make it look like an official document.
Even if a request to pay off unpaid taxes looks legal, taxpayers should never hesitate to contact the state to make sure that they have been contacted by a real tax collector, and not by some con artist, said Carol K. Nelson, a director of the Washington State DOR.
Unfortunately, sending false emails is not the only method that scammers use to steal money from other people. Phone calls from numbers that are very similar to the numbers of the state Department of Revenue can make taxpayers believe that they are dealing with the real state Revenue Officer.
If you received a phone call regarding your Washington state tax liability, the best approach is to confirm the phone number by calling DOR at 800-647-7706. If, as a result of this call, you realize that it was not the state that tried to reach you, consider reporting the problem to the state Attorney General Office. You can either do it online or via mail. You can also contact this office over the phone if you need help to submit your report.
Another organization that can help in this case is the protection team of the Federal Trade Commission. It will take you only a few minutes to file a complaint by visiting its website at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov and completing your application online.