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Franchise Tax Board Warns Public of Scams

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Public Affairs Office
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For Immediate Release

10.22.2013

Sacramento – The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) today warned taxpayers of theft ploys involving scammers attempting to use FTB’s likeness for their personal gain.

“If you receive a questionable solicitation, contact FTB immediately and talk to a live agent to review your account,” said State Controller and FTB Chair John Chiang. “Taxpayers should protect their personal information and treat any unsolicited phone calls or emails with caution.”

Police have recently reported that scammers are contacting elderly people in Beverly Hills and informing them they received a red light traffic ticket last February that has been referred to FTB for collections. The scammer instructs the victim to load money on a prepaid debit card and send it to a bogus address. The scammer refers victims to an actual FTB phone number for reference.

Other scams claiming to represent FTB attempt to lure people into revealing personal and financial information, such as Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers. This type of scam is referred to as “phishing” and is a technique aimed at getting personal information for the purpose of identity theft. Scams of this nature often involve an email that masquerades as offering to check the status of your state income tax refund.

FTB takes the safety and security of taxpayer information very seriously. If anyone receives a questionable contact from FTB, they should keep the following in mind:

  • FTB can only process payments through its online Web Pay services or by mail through personal check, money order, cashier’s check, or Western Union Quick Collect payments. FTB does not have the ability to process funds from third-party issued debit cards or prepaid credit cards.
  • FTB warns taxpayers against providing personal information over the telephone or by email to those who cannot verify they are FTB employees.
  • While FTB calls people who owe taxes, FTB will never ask taxpayers for PIN numbers, passwords, or similar access information for credit cards, bank accounts, or other financial accounts.

Taxpayers who receive a questionable contact should call FTB at 800.852.5711.

FTB’s Information Privacy policy is available online at ftb.ca.gov.

For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit taxes.ca.gov.

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