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Officials warn of tax payment scam

A Cabarrus County resident reported receiving a suspicious letter demanding more than $67,000 and warning that non-payment would result in wage garnishment and property liens. The letter claims to be from the Bureau of Tax Enforcement for Cabarrus County, which does not exist.

The resident brought the letter to the attention of the Cabarrus County Tax Administration Office, where it was confirmed as fraudulent. The letter was then turned over to the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office for further investigation.

Local resources

Taxpayers who receive suspicious letters claiming to be from Cabarrus County Government are encouraged to call the Tax Administration Office at 704-920-2166 or contact the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division at 704-920-3057.

Know the facts about IRS notifications

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website warns that such scams are common and can come in the form of a phone call, email or letter sent by postal mail. Taxpayers should understand how and when the IRS contacts taxpayers, and officials want to help determine if a notice is truly from the IRS or another official tax authority.

The IRS does NOT:

  • Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe. You should also be advised of your rights as a taxpayer.
  • Threaten to bring in local police, immigration officers or other law-enforcement to have you arrested for not paying. The IRS also cannot revoke your driver’s license, business licenses or immigration status. Threats like these are common tactics scam artists use to trick victims into buying into their schemes.

Reporting scams:

  • Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report a phone scam. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.
  • You can also report phone scams to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Add "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes.
  • Report an unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS, or an IRS-related component like the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov.

For more information, visit https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/how-to-know-its-really-the-irs-calling-or-knocking-on-your-door.

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