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Department of Taxation and Finance

Don’t Fall for These Common Scams NYS Tax Department Shares Security Tips During National Tax Security Awareness Week

For Release: Immediate,

For press inquiries only, contact: James Gazzale, 518-457-7377

Read the full release in Spanish

To help taxpayers avoid being scammed, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today highlighted some common tactics used by identity thieves and cybercriminals.

The strategies to steal sensitive personal data range from the simple to the complex, as described in the examples below.

Threatening calls: Scam artists who use this tactic try to bully or trick victims into disclosing private information, or convince them to wire money to pay a tax debt or fine. If a caller, perhaps posing as a New York State Tax Department or IRS agent, threatens an arrest or fines, it’s a scam. Neither agency threatens taxpayers, and they notify taxpayers by letter first before making any calls or sending any emails.

Unusual emails: Phishing emails often contain links that activate malware or lead to phony websites that request personal information. Misspellings or unfamiliar logos in the email or subject line are obvious clues that it’s a scam attempt, but some of the bogus emails and websites are convincing. Hovering over the links may reveal an unusual webpage address (URL) that confirms the sender’s true intent. To be safe, simply delete these emails and any that are unsolicited, and never click the links within them.
Remember, the Tax Department never requests personal or financial information by email.

Offers to collect tax payment in person: If a caller claiming to be from the Tax Department or IRS offers to meet you at a specified location to collect a payment, it’s a scam. This is never an option with the IRS or Tax Department. End the call immediately.

Request for a specific type of payment: If you’re being told to pay through a prepaid debit card or an iTunes gift card, this is a tell-tale sign of a scam. The Tax Department and IRS provide various payment options, but the use of gift cards isn’t one of them.

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