Pennsylvania businesses and taxpayers, beware. There is a new scam around. On July 14, 2022, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue issued a press release warning business owners that fraudulent letters are being delivered by U.S. Mail.
These letters impersonating the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue demand that the taxpayers turn over their tax and accounting records. They allege that there is a tax investigation of your entity by the “State Revenue and Cash Disbursements Unit,” who will be imposing penalties if you do not comply “immediately.”
You can see an example of a fraudulent government notice here.
If you comply with this fraudulent letter and send them the records they request, scammers can peruse your documents for sensitive information, including bank account numbers, personal identifiable information, EINs, and contact details. Scammers would have all the data they need to make unauthorized transactions, including requesting tax refunds or applying for loans under your business’s name.
This is certainly not the first time scammers have impersonated the government to dig for lucrative personal details. They’ve had a particularly active couple of years during the COVID-19 pandemic, establishing fake shops selling in-demand supplies or sending letters requesting financial information to apply for government relief grants.
If you have any doubts about a notice you receive from the IRS, Department of Revenue, or other governmental agency, please follow up with the said department using contact information not contained in the notice. To verify the real contact information for a government agency,
- contact your accountant, financial advisors, or attorney for advice or
- visit a .gov website and call/email/mail that department directly.
Scammers often use pressure tactics and shame to get taxpayers to turn over important information about yourself, your business, and your finances. So please be careful and vigilant.