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Sep 3, 2019 2:23 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Pair Of Warnings Issued For Mail, Phone Scams

Sep 3, 2019 2:28 PM

A pair of warnings were issued this week about active scams targeting residents of the region, one by phone and one by the mail.

The Suffolk County sheriff’s office noted that senior citizens are being targeted by a phone scam, with the caller falsely identifying as a representative of the sheriff’s office and stating that an active arrest warrant has been issued for the call recipient. The scammer tells the target that the matter can be resolved by making a payment over the phone using gift cards.

The sheriff’s office noted that no one from that office, nor any government entity, will call to request payment over the phone for any outstanding debt — and never would involve the use of gift cards.

Anyone targeted by the scam can report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Also this week, the State Department of Taxation and Finance warned of fake letters demanding immediate payment for outstanding tax debt, threatening recipients with the revocation of passports and driver’s licenses. A letter received by at least one potential victim purported to be from the “Tax Processing Center, Internal Processing Service, Public Judgement Records.”

The letter demands full payment by a specific date, and provides an 888 number to call to avoid having personal property levied and sold.

State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Michael Schmidt noted that his department instead “works with taxpayers who have existing tax debt, such as by establishing an installment payment agreement, to resolve the issue. We also work with all levels of law enforcement to bring the fraudsters who commit these types of crimes to justice.”

The Tax Department never threatens arrest or revocation of passports.

Those who receive a suspicious letter that claims to be from the State Tax Department should contact the Tax Department by phone, 518-451-1566, or email, dtfoia@tax.ny.gov.

Scammers have also claimed to be from the New York State Treasury. If you receive one of these calls, notify the agency at 1-800-771-7755.

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