SCAM ALERT: State consumer officials warn of scam regarding stat - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

SCAM ALERT: State consumer officials warn of scam regarding state tax liability

Posted: Updated:
Madison (WKOW)-- The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCAP) has issued a warning that Wisconsin taxpayers are receiving scam emails regarding fake tax liabilities. Consumer protection officials are concerned because now is the time of year when actual tax officials start to contact consumers about mistakes on their returns.

The scammers claim to work for the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and tell people that they owe a certain amount of money on their taxes. They urge people to respond quickly, because if they don't respond by July 11th they could be subject to a lawsuit. The e-mail asks people to click on an attachment, which experts say downloads a virus onto your computer and could steal important personal information. Officials urge anyone who receives this e-mail to delete it immediately. Don't open the e-mail or click on the attachment.

"We're seeing a trend that criminals are using the names of government agencies as they're sending their emails. They're doing this for a couple of reasons. It adds legitimacy to the email and it also creates a sense of urgency," Division of Trade and Consumer Protection Administrator Sandy Chalmers says.

The Department of Revenue says if there is a problem with your tax return they will contact you by mail. They do not typically send e-mails or make phone calls to request personal information or money.
   
In this most recent email scam officials say it's easy to spot a fake, because the messages contain numerous grammatical errors. However, previous e-mail scams have been much more convincing. Officials say the scammers even include official logos, phone numbers and addresses to make the e-mail seem more legitimate.

For additional information or to file a complaint, call DATCAP's toll-free Consumer Information Hotline at 1-800-422-7128.

Below is an example of a message received by a Wisconsin taxpayer (note that numerous grammatical errors are a good warning sign of a scam):
 
Subject: Payment notice #103831
Good morning!
 
You has the fines for income tax.
Sum: $162.85
===Detailed announcement is in the attachment===
 
You gotta check out spreadsheet before July 11th 2014.
Otherwise you'll obtain lawsuit.
 
Warm regards,
Chief of Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
(Made up Name)
(Made up Number)
 
Please do not reply to this email.
No virus found in this email. Checked by FortiClient. Mon, 5 May 2014 11:38:31 +0200


   
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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCAP) has issued a warning that Wisconsin taxpayers are receiving scam emails regarding fake tax liabilities.

DATCAP says people are receiving messages that claim the recipient owes a Wisconsin tax and will face additional penalties if they do not open the email's attachment. These emails falsely claim to be from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and opening the attachment could damage your computer or enable an identity thief to obtain personal information from your system.

DATCAP suggests you delete the email and do not open any attachments.State officials want to remind consumers the Wisconsin Department of Revenue does not initiate taxpayer communications through email nor does it request detailed personal information by phone or email.

For additional information or to file a complaint, call DATCAP's toll-free Consumer Information Hotline at 1-800-422-7128.

Below is an example of a message received by a Wisconsin taxpayer (note that numerous grammatical errors are a good warning sign of a scam):
 
Subject: Payment notice #103831
Good morning!
 
You has the fines for income tax.
Sum: $162.85
===Detailed announcement is in the attachment===
 
You gotta check out spreadsheet before July 11th 2014.
Otherwise you'll obtain lawsuit.
 
Warm regards,
Chief of Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
(Made up Name)
(Made up Number)
 
Please do not reply to this email.
No virus found in this email. Checked by FortiClient. Mon, 5 May 2014 11:38:31 +0200



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