Beware of tax scams making its way into your SMS and mail, officials warn
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state Department of Taxation is warning the public of a new scam that’s making it’s way through Hawaii.
The state said taxpayers have been sent threatening letters and text messages claiming that they hadn’t paid a tax.
The messages claim a so-called “distraint warrant” has been issued, and property seizure or forfeiture is imminent.
The department said it does not send unsolicited text messages, emails, nor do they post on social media about taxes owed.
So how can you tell if a letter from the Department of Taxation is authentic?
Officials said when initiating contact with taxpayers, the tax department will always first send a letter via postal mail and provide a direct telephone number to our offices.
Here are a few things a letter from DOTAX will include:
- Letter ID
- State of Hawaii Seal
- A direct telephone number to our offices
To confirm whether a letter or mailer is from the State of Hawaii Department of Taxation, taxpayers are asked to call the Taxpayer Services Call Center at (808) 587-4242 or 1-800-222-3229 (Toll-Free).
In addition, any correspondence from the “Hawaii Department of Revenue” or “Tax Assessment Securities” should be discarded.
They’re also reminding residents to be vigilant about protecting their information from scammers.
Here are some tips:
- Do not give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you have initiated the contact and know who you are dealing with.
- The Department will never ask for personal identifying information such as your social security number, bank account information, or credit card number over the phone or email.
- The Department will never demand an immediate payment method such as prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer.
- If you owe taxes, the Department will instruct taxpayers to make payments to “Hawaii State Tax Collector.”
For more information on how to protect your information or how to recognize if you’re being scammed, click here.
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