The Alabama Department of Revenue has received several complaints regarding a phone scam targeting taxpayers. The callers claim to be ADOR employees who are attempting to collect debts. These callers are NOT employees of the Department of Revenue.
Victims who answer these calls may be told they owe money to ADOR or to the state, and it must be paid promptly, perhaps through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. The criminals who make these calls can sound convincing and may use fake names and other bogus ADOR identification methods. They may know a lot about their targets, and they may alter the caller ID to make it look like ADOR is calling.
Victims who refuse to cooperate may be threatened with arrest, deportation, or suspension of a business or driver’s license. Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. NEVER share your Social Security number or other private information to someone who has called you in this manner. These callers may become hostile or insulting to victims who do not cooperate. Just hang up if this happens. Scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request when their calls are not answered. Ignore these messages and DO NOT call the number they leave.
Remember – the Alabama Department of Revenue WILL NEVER:
- Call a taxpayer to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, ADOR will contact taxpayers by mail to handle official business.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have a taxpayer arrested for not paying.
- Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount ADOR says is owed.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone
Stay alert! Scammers continuously change tactics, and variations of these scams continue year-round, peaking when scammers find prime opportunities to strike.