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January 6, 2015
Don’t Be Fooled By Spam Claiming To Be From The Department Of Revenue
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A client recently received this email and suspected that it was a phishing email.  It is.  Don’t be fooled.  This particular email is filled with factual mistakes.  It’s a bad fake, but that doesn’t mean that others couldn’t be more accurate and therefore, more difficult to identify as a nefarious email.

From: GEORGE MOORE [mailto:georgemoore20@hotmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2015 8:04 AM
To: lee26summers@gmail.com
Subject: TAXPAYER NOTICE OF LIEN

TAXPAYER NOTICE OF LIEN

Lien Number: #1516563153

The Washington Department of  Revenue has filed a lien in County Probate Court(s) and, or in Uniform Commercial Code Financial Statement of the Secretary of State. This action has been taken to protect  the interest of the state, since you have failed to make full payment of the tax liability referenced above.

Your file has been transferred to the Collection Services Division. The lien will be released upon full payment, which includes interest that accrues daily. Payment must be made in cash by (wire transfer) or other mode of payment in order to ensure a prompt lien release on before 20th of January 2015, contact the Collection Division by fax or email them for payoff information.

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Washington State Department of Revenue

Collection Services Division

Wenatchee, WA 98807-0220

Email:revenuecollection@mail2washington.com

Fax: 0871 528 0843

If someone unexpectedly contacts you, claiming to be from the Department, then take the telephone number and caller’s name.  Explain that you are protecting yourself and will return the call after you contact the Department to confirm that it is in fact trying to contact you.  If it’s mail, email or fax, do not respond to it.  The best practice is to call the Department, using a telephone number that you obtained from a known source (e.g., a reliable source, like a published telephone directory or directly from the Department’s website: www.dor.wa.gov).  One key hint that this is an illegitimate communication is that the Department’s email convention is “[name]@dor.wa.gov”, not “mail2Washington.com.”  The Department posts[1] an example of phishing for taxpayers to see, and explains its collection practice and what you should do if you are uncertain about the validity:

Various phishing scams continue, and the Department has recently learned that taxpayers are receiving fraudulent phone calls from perpetrators pretending to be the “Revenue Service." In the phone call, taxpayers are being told that they are being investigated and would have a restraining order placed on them if they didn’t call the number back in 24 hours. These phone calls are typically trying to steal credit card information by luring the taxpayer into paying a fine.

The Department does not initiate restraining orders and if you receive a call such as this, hang up and contact the Department at 1-800-647-7706. You may also call the Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fraud line to report it.

Be aware that Department agents do contact taxpayers by phone on overdue accounts, and they do leave messages asking taxpayers to call a toll-free number, 1-800-631-4028. Such calls are legitimate.

Disclaimer

This advisory is a publication of Eisenhower Carlson PLLC. Our purpose in publishing this advisory is to inform our clients and friends of recent legal developments. It is not intended, nor should it be used, as a substitute for specific legal advice as legal counsel may only be given in response to inquiries regarding particular situations.

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