Usually when you think of the words "scam" and "taxpayer" in the same sentence you assume the hired hands in Baton Rouge are scheming to grab more of your hard earned money. That is not the case this time. These are real bad guys trying to steal your money from you.

The scam works like this. A person is called at random and told they have tax issues. The telemarketer on the phone suggests that all the tax problems, such as a tax lien, can be taken care of by the company he represents. The victim asked to pay a fee for the services.

Should you get a phone call like this hang up immediately and report the phone call to the Louisiana Department of Revenue. Spokesperson for LDR Byron Henderson described such a phone call that an East Baton Rouge Parish woman received.

They told her all she had to do was pay them a fee. The taxpayer was a little suspicious. So she contacted her CPA, who investigated and discovered that the offer was fraudulent.

In  his comments to the Louisiana Radio Network Henderson described the activity known as "phishing". It's where n'er do wells take public information and literally "fish" the phone lines for a willing participant to go along with their scam.

This is a case of people looking for personal financial information that they can use to engage in identity theft and other kinds of fraud.

Just to be clear, Henderson says his department will never ask for personal information over the telephone. He also suggested that the I.R.S. and other government entities will never ask for personal information over the telephone.

We will ask the taxpayer to submit that documentation to us by mail to our P.O. Box or by a fax number that we will provide to them.

So, should you be contacted by someone claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service or the Louisiana Department of Revenue disconnect from the call and report any number you might have gotten from your caller ID unit to the proper authorities.


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