AG Tong, DRS Commissioner John Biello Warn CT Residents: Don't Fall Victim to Illegitimate Mailings(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong and Department of Revenue Services Acting Commissioner John Biello are warning Connecticut residents to be wary of mailings that claim to be warrants collecting unpaid tax debt.
The letters received by Connecticut businesses were not sent by or on behalf of the Department of Revenue Services, but by a private company selling tax settlement services. The letters claim to issue a warrant against the companies for failing to pay taxes and instruct the recipients to pay a certain amount in full or call a phone number to avoid action.
“These attempts to cheat Connecticut’s business owners out of their hard-earned money are nothing short of egregious,” said Attorney General Tong. “Our office will continue to fight these fraudulent mailings and protect Connecticut residents from these potentially devastating scams. Anyone who has any doubts about the legitimacy of a tax-related mailing they have reviewed should call the DRS to verify the document before sending money to a private company.”
“The Department of Revenue Services urges taxpayers to remain vigilant and alert to tax-related scams, especially in these challenging and uncertain times,” said Acting Commissioner Biello. “If you receive a communication about your state taxes that you question, do not hesitate to reach out to DRS — as a conscientious taxpayer did in this case. A DRS professional can help confirm if our agency has made an attempt to reach you. I thank Attorney General Tong for his continued partnership in these efforts on behalf of consumers.”
Government imposter scams can take many forms and can target individuals and businesses alike. In one of the more common schemes, scammers mail solicitations or send emails to businesses to “advise” them that they must purchase certain products or forms, or file particular reports in order to be in compliance with the law. The scammers then offer to assist businesses with satisfying these requirements in exchange for a fee.
For example, in this instance the sender of the letters wrote “this warrant has been issued against the above-named debtors because of a debt that hasn’t been paid in full. This isn’t an arrest warrant. This warrant serves the same function as a court judgment. The State of Connecticut uses the warrant in collection action.” The letter says businesses must pay their balance in full within 15 days of receiving the letter or they can call a 1-800 number to avoid penalty by purchasing their tax settlement services.
Business owners can protect themselves against falling victim to these scams by checking https://business.ct.gov/, an online portal to serve as a primary point of contact between businesses and key state agencies, giving businesses greater confidence that they are communicating with legitimate, appropriate government personnel.
To report a scam or instance of fraud, contact the Office of the Attorney General at 860-808-5318 or file a complaint with the office at https://www.dir.ct.gov/ag/complaint/