Stamas alerts residents of scam using fake tax debt letters

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas is urging area families to be alert for a new scam involving fake letters about past-due state taxes.

“Scam artists are becoming bolder in their demands and more creative in disguising who they really are,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “While their techniques may change, their intentions remain to trick people into giving them money or valuable information. I encourage everyone to continue to be on the lookout for scams, especially a new one in which the thieves send fake government-looking letters about an overdue tax bill.

“The new scam uses publicly available information about a taxpayer’s past-due taxes to try and trick the person into believing the letter is real.”

According to the Michigan Department of Treasury, in the scheme taxpayers are told in the fake letter to immediately contact a toll-free number to resolve a state tax debt. The letter aggressively threatens to seize a taxpayer’s assets ― including property and Social Security benefits ― if the debt is not settled.

“Although the state does mail official letters to taxpayers, they provide several options to resolve outstanding debts and outline your taxpayer rights,” Stamas said. “If you get a letter that threatens to seize your property unless you pay immediately over the phone, it’s a scam.”

Taxpayers who have received the scam letter or have questions about a possible state debt can call Treasury’s Collections Service Center at 517-636-5265.