Department of Revenue Provides Tips to Prevent Tax Fraud
February 2, 2016
RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR) is issuing a warning to taxpayers concerning a recent increase in the number of reports of criminals fraudulently posing as tax agents. Over the past few years, criminals have primarily contacted taxpayers via phone in an attempt to intimidate and collect payment for nonexistent tax debts. Recently, the department has been informed of cases involving door-to-door visits by scam artists who identify themselves as NCDOR or Internal Revenue Service (IRS) personnel.
Often, these individuals will be equipped with fake credentials or business cards indicating employment by a state or federal tax agency. They may request a taxpayer’s credit or debit card number, as well as personal identifiable information such as social security numbers.
“As our detection methods evolve, so too do criminal tactics,” said Secretary Jeff Epstein. “New scams are constantly being identified and our goal is to educate taxpayers on how they can better protect themselves from these situations.”
Revenue employees have regular processes and procedures outlined by statute which govern how the agency may pursue past due taxes. Key facts about these practices include:
- Employees will not contact a taxpayer by phone or in person unless the agency has previously sent notification through the mail.
- Employees will not require a taxpayer to use a specific payment method. The agency offers numerous payment options from which the taxpayer is free to choose.
- Employees will not preemptively ask for personal identifiable information such as social security numbers.
Taxpayers who suspect they are being targeted by criminals are encouraged to simply hang up on a caller or close the door on a visitor and immediately contact the agency at 1-877-252-3052. A representative can confirm whether a taxpayer owes money and, if necessary, advise on possible payment options.
These processes and procedures may differ for a taxpayer who is under criminal investigation by the department. For additional information, please review this list of leading tax scams from the IRS, as well as additional information on protecting yourself from fraudsters.