Recent Scams Prompts Warning from Department of Taxation
The Department of Taxation is warning the public to be vigilant about protecting personal information to prevent being scammed by phishers.
Recently, a Hawaiʻi Island resident fell victim to a phishing scam when someone purporting to be a tax official made a threatening call to the resident and demanded immediate payment in the form of a gift card.
The Department of Taxation says online schemes have become sophisticated to the extent that emails contain a link that directs a person to a login portal or website that appears legitimate. The department warns that some emails may also contain malicious software that can collect and transmit personal information.
The public is asked to recognize and avoid phishing scams by following the below tips to recognize thieves posing as legitimate organizations:
- Do not give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you have initiated the contact and know who you are dealing with.
- The Department will never ask for personal identifying information such as your social security number, bank account information, or credit card number over the phone or email.
- The Department will never demand an immediate payment method such as prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer.
- If you owe taxes, the Department will instruct taxpayers to make payments to “Hawaiʻi State Tax Collector.”
Hawaiʻi Tax Online is convenient and secure way to e-file tax returns, make payments, view letters, manage accounts, and conduct other common transactions online with the Department. The Department encourages the public to e-file for faster service, but also cautions to take notice of whether or not it’s an official legitimate website before transmitting information.
Contact the Department if your tax information has been compromised. If you believe you are a victim of a tax scam or identity theft, visit identitytheft.gov to report it and get a plan to help you recover.