Taxpayers on Long Island and elsewhere in the state are receiving telephone calls from con artists claiming to be state tax department employees seeking payment, officials said Wednesday.
The con artists have cloned the department’s fraud hotline phone numbers so they appear on the taxpayer’s caller ID as a legitimate call.
Tax department said the call is a scam if the number is 518-457-5181 or 518-457-0578. Those numbers are used for incoming calls to the agency, not for outgoing calls, they said.
“Many of the impostors who call demand payments on iTunes gift cards and others reloadable debit cards, which are obvious red flags,” said tax commissioner Jerry Boone.
He urged taxpayers to use the tax department’s call center at 518-457-5434 if they are unsure whether a caller is legitimate, and to verify if they owe the state money.
Boone also said taxpayers can create an Online Services account at tax.ny.gov, which allows them to confirm any outstanding liabilities or other issues. In this way, taxpayers can verify what a caller is telling them.
Tax department spokesman Geoffrey Gloak said the agency had “received complaints from taxpayers on Long Island. Statewide we’ve received dozens of complaints about this latest scam.” He could not provide a specific number for the local complaints. — With Robert Brodsky