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State of California Franchise Tax Board

State Taxpayers Warned of Email Scam

Released May 19, 2008

Franchise Tax Board (FTB) today warned taxpayers of two current scams involving FTB and identity theft.

“Taxpayers should protect their personal information and treat any unsolicited emails with caution,” said State Controller and FTB Chair John Chiang. “Contact FTB immediately if you have any concerns.”

The first scam involves an email “phishing” for taxpayer data. The email masquerades as offering to check the status of your state income tax refund. Scams of this nature attempt to lure people into revealing personal and financial information, such as Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers, which may be used to steal that taxpayer’s identify.

The second scam involves a phony letter informing the taxpayer his or her tax return may be audited. The letter refers the taxpayer to a fake FTB address in Georgia. In addition, both the email and the letter contain misspellings and grammatical errors. Taxpayers who receive such a notice should contact FTB at 800.852.5711.

FTB has several policies in place to protect the safety and security of taxpayer information. The agency never collects confidential taxpayer information through email or phone solicitation. FTB warns taxpayers against providing personal information over the telephone or via email to those who cannot verify they are FTB employees.

The FTB’s Information Privacy policy is available online at

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