Pennsylvania Seniors Urged to Take Preventative Measures Against Tax-related Scams

HARRISBURG, Pa. – As part of Financial Education Month, Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary Teresa Osborne and Department of Revenue Secretary Eileen McNulty are urging elderly residents to be on guard for identity theft and tax-related scams.

“Fraud against the elderly is a serious problem that adversely affects thousands of seniors annually,” said Department of Aging Secretary Teresa Osborne. “We must continue to educate, empower, support, and protect vulnerable seniors from falling victim to tax-time scams.”

Family, friends and caregivers are encouraged to remind the older adults in their lives not to give out personal information over the phone, through the mail or on the internet unless they initiate contact and are absolutely certain of the recipient.

“Phone and email phishing scams are increasingly common as people are filing their taxes this time of year,” said Department of Revenue Secretary Eileen McNulty. “We urge everyone, especially the older residents to be vigilant in protecting their identity.”

>Here are some tips to identify potential scams:

  • The Revenue Department and IRS will never call demanding immediate payment of past-due tax. We send several written notices before calling to request payment.
  • The department will never demand that you pay taxes without the opportunity to ask questions or file an appeal.
  • The department will never require a specific payment method, such as pre-paid debit cards or wire transfer.
  • The department will never ask for your credit card numbers or bank account information over the phone or by email.

If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to believe you do, then do not give out your information. Hang up and contact the department at 717-787-8201. If you owe past-due state tax, or think you may, call the Department of Revenue at 717-783-3000. A department representative will help you.

To help educate taxpayers about the importance of online security and to recognize phishing schemes, the Department of Revenue joined the IRS and other states to create the public awareness campaign Taxes, Security, Together.


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