New tax scam targeting Idaho residents

Posted at 1:54 PM, Dec 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-17 15:57:15-05

BOISE — Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and the State Tax Commission are alerting Idahoans to a new tax scam targeting Idaho residents.

The alert comes after a Nampa woman contacted the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division to verify the legitimacy of a document she had received in the mail. The mailer was not legitimate; it falsely claimed she owed $15,390 in income taxes to the State of Idaho.

The mailer was labeled as a “Notice of Default Pending Execution” and included two seals –- though not official state seals –- at the top. The scammers included a working telephone number in order to continue the fraud attempt via phone.

Officials said the mailer included a false return address of “Tax Processing Center, Branch 12 B” in Nampa. It was dated December 6, 2018 and was created to appear as though it originated at the “Canyon County Court House” in the “Office of Repossessions.”

“All scams pose a threat to those they target,” Wasden said. “But this one is particularly concerning because of how official the mailing looks. No matter how official a document appears, consumers should always contact with proper authorities to double check. In this day and age, you just can’t be too careful.”

Idahoans can check the status of their state taxes with the State Tax Commission by calling 208-334-7660 or toll free at 1-800-972-7660.

“The more convincing a scam appears, the more dangerous it can be to taxpayers,” Idaho State Tax Commission Chairman Ken Roberts said. “Fraudsters continue to take advantage of people’s financial vulnerabilities and victimize innocent, hardworking citizens. The Tax Commission is committed to working with law enforcement to identify and stop this criminal behavior.”

The consumer alert is the second the Attorney General has issued in the last four days. The other detailed an uptick in the number of so-called imposter scams targeting Idahoans. Included on the list of active scams is the so-called “IRS scam,” in which a caller pretends to be from the Internal Revenue Service and claims the target owes back taxes. The tax problems will disappear, the scammer says, if the recipient of the call pays the taxes via gift cards, iTunes cards, money wire, etc. Anyone who receives this type of call should hang up immediately, Wasden said.

If you have questions about these or other scams, call the Idaho Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 208-334-2424 or toll free at 1-800-432-3545.