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Andrew Cuomo to New Yorkers: Be aware of scammers during tax season

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers his State

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers his State of the State address at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany, New York, on Jan. 13, 2016. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

With tax season underway, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office is urging consumers to be wary of scammers posing as state and federal treasury officials.

The governor warned consumers to be skeptical of phone calls seeking personal information, including Social Security numbers, and announced the launch of a website where such scams can be reported.

“New Yorkers need to remain vigilant, be skeptical of anyone seeking to solicit personal information, and report any suspicious activity to the appropriate authorities,” Cuomo said this week.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and acting Nassau Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said Thursday they “are urging citizens to be vigilant when receiving telephone solicitations or emails from persons identifying themselves as employees of the Internal Revenue Service.”

Cuomo said so far three new schemes have been identified this tax season, including one in which a caller poses as a state or federal treasury agent and asks victims to turn over bank account information and $250 in return for a larger amount of cash at a later date.

In another scam, this one related to the Affordable Care Act, callers tell victims they must pay federal penalties and pay them directly to the callers.

In a scam targeting tax preparers, callers ask for personal information about a client, hoping to gain “usernames and passwords to taxpayer accounts,” the governor’s office said.

Cuomo said tax payments should be made “only with a tax return or in response to a letter from the Internal Revenue Service,” and not to an individual or tax preparer.

Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Jerry Boone said consumers can visit a new webpage, on.ny.gov/1X3OBLU, to report suspicious telephone soliciting.

Cuomo offered several tips, which also are listed on the website. They include making sure you get a notice of tax penalty by mail from either the state tax department or the IRS.

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