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Wary of Email Scams? Check Snail Mail Too

In Pennsylvania, scammers claiming late taxes use Dept. of Revenue letterhead, demand accounting records and tell businesses to call a “resolution officer.”

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors® issued a member alert, warning of a scam delivered by snail mail. If the criminals find it to be successful, Florida business owners can expect the same type of problem in the not-too-distant future if they haven’t seen it already.

The scam begins with a letter delivered by snail mail on paper that appears to be from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, with the department’s name and logo at the top.

The letter informs businesses that they’re under investigation for not paying taxes. It requests accounting records and lists the name of a “resolution officer” they should call.

The scammer’s likely goal is the information within those accounting records, which could give them the ability to steal a business’s identify. They could then submit fake tax returns, take out loans and make unauthorized transactions.

Assume the scam will expand, perhaps to include letters from other state departments or even federal agencies. In all cases, a letter should be followed up with a direct contact with the agency that supposedly sent the letter – and not to any department phone number listed in the letter itself.

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue also said the letter has red flags so far (which could also change in the future), such as being addressed to “business owner” rather than the name on file with state officials. It’s also unlikely that any government agency would demand that a business do something immediately.

Source: Pennsylvania Association of Realtors, Kelly Leighton

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