Scammers urging residents to act immediately to avoid legal action for phony cases of tax fraud
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas warned residents about calls from someone claiming to be an employee of the U.S. Treasury Department threatening taxpayers with legal action and arrest for tax fraud.
“With tax season upon us, scammers are using more and more sophisticated methods to get taxpayers to reveal sensitive personal information or make payments over the phone – and in this case, to threaten arrest or audits for fictitious cases of tax fraud,” Acting DA Singas said. “State and federal authorities never make unsolicited phone calls demanding personal information or money, and anyone receiving this kind of call should hang up and report the call to my office immediately.”
Acting DA Singas said that scammers are calling New York residents from phony numbers often associated with legitimate institutions. In the call, an unknown person claiming to be from Legal Affairs at the U.S. Treasury Department informs the caller of an “enforcement action” and tells the caller that ignoring this matter will result in legal action and arrest.
Government-impersonating scammers are getting more sophisticated – they may have the last four digits of your social security number, spoof an official agency’s toll-free number on your caller ID, send authentic-looking e-mails (sometimes in combination with a phone scam), play background-noise to simulate a call-center, create a series of phone calls from purportedly different sources.
Members of the public should never give out personal information over the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless they have initiated the contact and are sure of the recipient. They should also not pay any money, especially by the methods commonly suggested by scammers, such as Western Union wire transfers, and pre-paid debit cards.
Already this year in Nassau County, a law enforcement bulletin has gone out about these scams happening in our region. If you have any doubts about a party you are speaking to over the phone, hang up, go to the official website, locate the contact number, and call back.
Anyone looking to make complaints regarding instances of tax fraud can call the Nassau County DA’s Tax Crimes Tip Line at (516) 571-7755, Option 2.