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BATON ROUGE — Department of Revenue Secretary Cynthia Bridges warns state taxpayers to beware of telephone calls that are purportedly from the Revenue Department whereby the caller seeks to obtain the recipient’s bank account number by promising to deposit a “grant” as a reward for paying their taxes on time.
“The Department of Revenue issues no such grants and taxpayers should consider these telephone calls as a scam designed to rob their bank accounts,” Bridges says. She adds the Department has reports that taxpayers have received fraudulent calls from a person who identifies himself as an employee of the Department of Revenue. The caller then tells the taxpayer that because of their excellent record of paying taxes on time, they are entitled to receive a grant given by the Department.
“The caller assures the taxpayer that the Department issues hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in these grants,” Bridges says. “The taxpayer is also told that there is only a $249 ‘processing fee’ to receive an $8,000 grant, but their 16-digit bank account number is needed in order to deposit the funds and to pay the processing fee.” Bridges stresses that taxpayers should never give out their bank account number, Social Security Number, or any other personal information to a telephone caller or in answer to a mail solicitation. “We strongly advise taxpayers to be on guard against this scheme and to tell their friends and family of its existence,” Bridges says.
To report possible fraudulent calls, taxpayers should contact the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office at 225-326-6400, or the Department of Revenue’s Special Investigations Division at 225-219-2280.###
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