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Don’t fall victim to tax related scams

by Associated Press

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Revenue is warning taxpayers about scams from people attempting to steal their personal information.

Criminals across the country are contacting people and identifying themselves as representatives of the Internal Revenue Service or a state’s Department of Revenue. In some cases, the scam artists are threatening taxpayers with penalties for supposed offenses such as non-filing or delinquent taxes and demanding bank account numbers, Social Security numbers and other personal information.

These scams, known as “phishing,” often involve unsolicited emails with links to websites that pose as legitimate sites, but exist only to capture personal financial information.

The Louisiana Department of Revenue will never initiate contact with a taxpayer to request personal financial information. When LDR initiates contact with a taxpayer, by mail or by phone, it is often to request documentation to support claims on a tax return. The taxpayer is asked to submit the documentation to the department by mail or by fax.

Contact with taxpayers who are delinquent on their taxes is initiated through the mail. The correspondence explains in detail what is owed, and provides contact information for the department if the taxpayer has questions or wishes to contest the assessment. Contact regarding delinquent taxes is never initiated with a phone call.

When the department must verify a taxpayer’s identity to prevent fraud, notification takes place through the mail and the taxpayer is directed to the Identity Verification Quiz on the LDR website; or they are asked to mail identification information to the department.

For more information about phishing scams, visit IRS.gov.

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