Release Date: July 12, 2021
Media Contact: Ti Gauger, Public Information Officer, (608) 224-5007
MADISON – Wisconsin taxpayers should be alert to suspicious mailings regarding tax collection. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) have received reports from multiple counties of individuals receiving fraudulent letters related to tax collection cases.
The public can identify these letters by looking for:
- A return address listing the “Benefits Suspension Unit," a Wisconsin county, and “Public Judgement Records."
- A fake government seal with an image of the U.S. in a circle, rather than a state, county, or municipality seal.
- A paid postage mark indicating the letter originates from Los Angeles, CA.
- There is no information on remitting payment, only a number to call to “avoid enforcement."
The language of these letters sounds official and creates a sense of urgency by threatening to seize property; “The State of Wisconsin can now take enforcement action such as seizing assets and garnishing wages and bank accounts to satisfy the outstanding debt owed."
These scammers may be targeting victims by searching court filings for individuals who have court cases filed against them to collect taxes.
If you have questions about the status of your tax payment or question the authenticity of a letter, phone call, or email you receive that claims to be from a government agency, contact that agency directly to inquire. Always contact the agency using a phone number or email address that you know to be accurate – never use the contact information provided by the questionable communication.
If you have been the victim of a scam, report it by filing a complaint online at https://datcp.wi.gov/pages/programs_services/fileconsumercomplaint.aspx, or send an email to email@example.com, or call DATCP's Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-422-7128.