Taxpayers: Beware phone scams impersonating Department of Revenue

Taxpayers: Beware phone scams impersonating Department of Revenue

The Alabama Department of Revenue (ADOR) is urging taxpayers to beware of phone scams that impersonate the Internal Revenue Service or ADOR and demand immediate payment via debit card information given over the phone.

“Taxpayers are reminded that if [ADOR] has a legitimate reason to make contact with them regarding taxes owed, then the department will do so by letter through the mail,” an ADOR press release stated Aug. 3.

The criminal callers also may impersonate other government agencies, often threatening arrest or court action to prompt taxpayers into making payments. And don’t be fooled by the line, “We have sent letters that were returned ‘undeliverable,’” ADOR said. It’s just ploy.

ADOR will never, according to the press release, do any of the following:

• Call to demand immediate payment, nor call about taxes owed without making multiple attempts to contact the taxpayer by mail.

• Demand that someone pay taxes without offering the opportunity to question or appeal the amount claimed to be owed.

• Require taxpayers to use a specific payment method for taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.

• Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

• Threaten immediate arrest over the phone of taxpayers for not paying.

If a taxpayer ever does receive a call that includes any of the tactics mentioned above, ADOR recommends hanging up immediately without giving out any information and calling ADOR at 251-344-4737. (TAB)