SALEM — After recent reports of callers fraudulently identifying themselves as collection agents, the Oregon Department of Revenue is reminding taxpayers to take measures to protect their personal identifying information.

Taxpayers have reported receiving phone calls from individuals identifying themselves as Revenue representatives or IRS agents. The caller says the victim has a tax debt and demands payment by wire transfer or credit card. The caller may threaten legal action in an effort to coerce taxpayers to disclose personal identifying information such as Social Security or credit card numbers.

“Revenue employees may ask you to verify some personal information, but they won’t threaten you or demand personal or financial information,” explained Ken Ross, Revenue’s Personal Tax program manager. “If you think you’re being scammed, end the call and contact us directly. We encourage the public to protect themselves by verifying they’re speaking with legitimately authorized representatives of the Department of Revenue.”

Direct contact information for Revenue and its field offices is available online or in government directories.

Revenue offers a few tips to help taxpayers protect themselves from becoming victims of fraud:

• Taxpayers may contact Revenue directly at 1-800-356-4222 to check the validity of any tax-related phone calls.

• Taxpayers will always receive a billing notice by mail prior to receiving any calls from Revenue.

• Revenue will never ask a taxpayer to wire money.

• Electronic payments to Revenue don’t have to be made over the phone. If you’re more comfortable paying online, visit www.oregon.gov/dor/payments.

Revenue maintains a list of official mailing addresses for all offices in the Contact Us section of www.oregon.gov/dor. It will not ask taxpayers to send information or payments to any addresses that aren’t on this list.

Taxpayers can report incidences where the caller identifies themselves as an agent of the state to Revenue’s Tax Services at 1-800-356-4222. Fraudulent calls where the IRS is mentioned can be reported to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.

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