Pennsylvania business owners targeted by fraudulent letters

PENNSYLVANIA HAVE SEEN LETTERS LIKE THIS SHOWING UP. PRETTY OFFICIAL LOOKING, BUT NOT ACTUALLY LEGITIMATE. THIS LETTER ACCUSES A BUSINESS OWNER OF VIOLATING SALES TAX LAW AND COMMANDS THE PERSON TO SEND ACCOUNTING INFORMATION TO THE SCAMMER. PENNSYLVANIA’S REVENUE SECRETARY SAID TODAY THAT THIS IS INDEED A SCAM, AND IT SAYS IT IS SHOWING UP IN THE MAILBOXES OF BUSINESS OWNERS AROUND THE STATE. HE SAYS THAT IF YOU END UP TURNING YOUR ACCOUNTING INFORMATION, IT COULD COST YOU A LOT OF MONEY AND OTHER BIG PROBLEMS. THE LETTER IS MISSING A LOT OF THINGS YOU WOULD FIND ON AN OFFICIAL LETTER, INCLUDING A RETURN ADDRESS AND SPECIFIC INFORMATION ABOUT YOU OR YOUR BUSINESS THAT THE STATE WOULD ALREADY HAVE. >> LETTERS DO NOT INCLUDE THIS KIND OF SPECIFIC INFORMATION, BECAUSE THEY ARE TRYING TO SCARE PEOPLE INTO ACTING QUICKLY BEFORE THEY HAVE A CHANCE TO THINK AND CAST A WIDE NET TO LEARN IN AS MANY VICTIMS AS POSSIBLE. TOM: THIS PARTICULAR LETTER WAS SPOTTED BY A BUSINESS IN THE ALLENTOWN AREA. THE REVENUE DEPARTMENT SAYS THERE HAVE BEEN OTHER LETTERS SPOTTED. IF Y

Scammers impersonate the Pennsylvania Revenue Department in letters targeting business owners

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue has a warning about a scam targeting business owners. Some businesses are getting a fraudulent letter in the mail that accuses them of a sales tax violation and demands accounting information. Officials said revealing that information allows the con artists to search for sensitive information – such as bank account numbers and other financial data – which could be used to make unauthorized transactions, request fraudulent tax refunds and apply for loans under the name of the business. The letter is missing a lot of things you would find on a legitimate letter from the Department of Revenue, including a return address and specific information about the business that the state would already have.” Fraudsters don’t include this kind of specific information because they’re trying to scare people into acting quickly before they have a chance to think and to cast a wide net to lure in as many victims as possible,” Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell said. How to a void the scam The Department of Revenue offered the following tips to avoid this scam: Ensure you’re speaking with legitimate department representatives. This scam uses the Department of Revenue’s name and logo to pose as a government entity. If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of a notice from the department, contact the Online Customer Service Center. This allows the taxpayer to securely submit a question. Examine the notice. Check the letter for identifying information that can be verified. Look for blatant factual errors and other inconsistencies. If the notice is unexpected and demands immediate action, take a moment to verify its legitimacy. Conduct research online. Use the information in a potentially counterfeit notice, such as a name, address or telephone number, to conduct a search online. The Department of Revenue’s website, revenue.pa.gov, is the best source to verify the information contained in a legitimate notice from the department.

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue has a warning about a scam targeting business owners.

Some businesses are getting a fraudulent letter in the mail that accuses them of a sales tax violation and demands accounting information.

Officials said revealing that information allows the con artists to search for sensitive information – such as bank account numbers and other financial data – which could be used to make unauthorized transactions, request fraudulent tax refunds and apply for loans under the name of the business.

The letter is missing a lot of things you would find on a legitimate letter from the Department of Revenue, including a return address and specific information about the business that the state would already have.

“Fraudsters don’t include this kind of specific information because they’re trying to scare people into acting quickly before they have a chance to think and to cast a wide net to lure in as many victims as possible,” Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell said .

How to avoid the scam

The Department of Revenue offered the following tips to avoid this scam:

  • Ensure you are speaking with legitimate department representatives. This scam uses the Department of Revenue’s name and logo to pose as a government entity. If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of a notice from the department, contact the Online Customer Service Center. This allows the taxpayer to securely submit a question.
  • Examine the notice. Check the letter for identifying information that can be verified. Look for blatant factual errors and other inconsistencies. If the notice is unexpected and demands immediate action, take a moment to verify its legitimacy.
  • Conduct research online. Use the information in a potentially counterfeit notice, such as a name, address or telephone number, to conduct a search online. The Department of Revenue’s website, revenue.pa.gov, is the best source to verify the information contained in a legitimate notice from the department.

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