State treasurer warns of tax scam

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Treasurer’s Office put out a warning monday about a tax scam attempt.

According to the release, a scammer tried to steal over $1,000 from someone by pretending to work for the Department of Revenue during a phone call. When the person did not pay, the scammer then asked her to mail a check to a post office box in St. Louis, saying it was for the Department of Treasury.

State Treasurer Eric Schmitt said legitimate communications with the Department of Revenue would happen differently.

“The one really important thing for Missourians to know is that you’re not going to get an email or a phone call from the state treasurer or from the Department of Revenue telling you you need to pay over the phone for something,” Schmitt said. “If you are to be contacted at all by the state, by Department of Revenue, it’s going to be by mail.”

Schmitt also said tax issues or questions are handled in Jefferson City and not in another location.

“There’s not going to be some satellite division receiving payment for an agency that doesn’t exist, being contacted by the phone,” Schmitt said.

Scams like this are not new, and a similar situation happened last year, Schmitt said.

“I think this is kind of a yearly sort of occurrence where we see scammers up to their fraudulent ways and trying to, you know, bilk hardworking Missourians out of their hard-earned money,” Schmitt said.

Schmitt said he anticipates scam attempts like this to also strike around tax time. The scams get increasingly sophisticated over time, Schmitt said.

The press release also said scams can involve fake caller-IDs with a Missouri State Treasurer’s Office phone number.

Schmitt said his office has alerted the Attorney General’s Office.

The office has directed people to call the Attorney General’s Office if they get a call from someone who asks for money and claims to work for the Treasurer’s Office. People can also contact the United States Treasury Inspector General and FBI field offices.