Treasury: Phone scams a serious threat during tax season

DETROIT — Aggressive and threatening phone calls made by criminals impersonating state tax officials are on the rise in Michigan, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury.

During tax season, the department typically sees a surge in scammers make unsolicited calls claiming to be tax officials and asking for cash through a wire transfer, prepaid debit card or gift card. The criminals also may leave “urgent” callback requests through robocalls or phishing emails.

“Unfortunately, tax season brings out criminals who use threats for quick cash payouts or promises of a big refund to obtain your private information,” Deputy Treasurer Glenn White said. “The Michigan Department of Treasury doesn’t initially contact taxpayers through the phone. Our first interaction is generally done by mail.”

Taxpayers should report scam calls to the IRS through the web or by calling 800-366-4484.