What you should know to avoid summer tax scams

Posted at 3:15 PM, Jul 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-11 16:27:33-04

The Michigan Department of Treasury is encouraging Michiganders to be on alert for threatening state tax scam calls. 

The Department says these scam calls are usually high in volume during the summer. They say scammers claim to be state tax officials and ask "for cash through a wire transfer, prepaid debit card or gift card." Scammers may also leave "urgent" callback requests through phishing emails and robocalls. 

Some callers go as far as making the caller ID numbers look like the Treasury or IRS is calling. They may also use a person's name, address and other personal information to appear more official. 

Treasury will never

  • Initiate a phone call to ask for personal information.
  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, Treasury will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
  • Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

If you know you don't owe any taxes, hang up immediately. Those who think they may owe taxes should call (517) 636-4486 to find out their account information.

If you've received a call from a scammer, report it via the IRS website or call (800) 366-4484.