File photo

By: Vinny Craig, Staff Writer

City of Dearborn taxpayers are being warned to look out for threatening phone calls from criminals that are acting as state tax officials according to The Michigan Department of Treasury.

These criminals acting as state tax officials call and ask for cash through a wire transfer, prepaid debit card or gift card as payment for false payment of taxes that will result in arrest, legal action or the suspension of business.

“Unfortunately, scammers are consistently using new tricks and tactics to take advantage of taxpayers.” Said Deputy Treasurer Glenn White. “The Michigan Department of Treasury doesn’t initially contact taxpayers through the phone. Our first interaction is generally done by mail,” he added.

According to Time.com, the number of scam phone calls being placed is up 13%. One in eight people have received upwards of 20 scam phone calls in the last six months, up 40% from 2015.

With the holiday season in full swing, it’s even more important to be wary of any type of scam, but especially ones like this that can be avoided.

The treasury will not call for personal information, call for immediate payment while using a specific method, threaten to immediately bring in the authorities, ask for personal bank information over the phone, or demand immediate payment without the opportunity for an appeal.

If you have suspicions of it being  likely scam, call local authorities and give as much information about them as possible. Tax balances can be found at 517-636-5265 to see if taxes are owed.