Targeted by Tax Scammers? Report It!

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Public Affairs Office
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For Immediate Release

09.28.2016

Sacramento - Franchise Tax Board (FTB) urges taxpayers to report any suspicious emails or phone calls received from tax scammers.

FTB also has updated its Report Scams, ID Theft, & Tax Fraud webpage as part of ongoing efforts to crack down on tax fraud and tax scams.  

The moves come as scammers continue to prey on honest taxpayers by impersonating Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or FTB employees. Through phone calls, emails, and postal mail, these fraudsters attempt to trick taxpayers into sending money not owed or providing personal information that may be used in other ways.

“Even I have received calls from scammers threatening arrest if I don’t pay up,” said State Controller and FTB Chair Betty T. Yee. “Let’s set the record straight: an FTB employee will never threaten a California taxpayer over past-due taxes. If you suspect that a phone call or piece of correspondence may be fraudulent, don’t engage with it. Report it.”

To report scammers, visit ftb.ca.gov.  Be suspicious of anyone who contacts you and:

  • Asks for passwords or information about your credit cards and bank accounts. FTB agents never ask for these details.
  • Threatens to contact local police or other law enforcement to have you arrested if a tax debt is not paid.
  • Demands payment by third-party or pre-paid debit cards.  FTB does not accept these forms of payment.

FTB will contact a taxpayer by mail — often several times — prior to calling directly. FTB also uses an automated dialer program, and a copy of that program’s message can be found on FTB’s website.

Tax professionals have also been targeted by scammers. One recent scheme involved emails that appear to be from legitimate tax software companies trying to trick tax professionals into revealing client data.


FTB administers two of California's major tax programs: Personal Income Tax and the Corporation Tax. FTB also administers other non tax programs and delinquent debt collection functions, including delinquent vehicle registration debt collections on behalf of the Department of Motor Vehicles, and court–ordered debt. Annually, FTB’s tax programs collect more than 65 percent of the state’s general fund. For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit taxes.ca.gov.

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