DOTAX PRESS RELEASE: PREVENT GETTING SCAMMED BY PHISHERS

Posted on Apr 6, 2018 in Latest News

HONOLULU – The Department of Taxation (Department) warns the public to be vigilant about protecting your personal information to prevent being scammed by phishers.

 

Recently, a Hawaii 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.

 

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.  Some emails may also contain malicious software that can collect and transmit personal information.

The Department urges you to recognize and avoid phishing scams and provides you these 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 “Hawaii State Tax Collector.”

 

The Department’s official website is http://tax.hawaii.gov and the Department’s new e-filing portal is Hawaii Tax Online at https://hitax.hawaii.gov/.  Hawaii Tax Online is convenient and secure way to e-file tax returns, make payments, view letters, manage your accounts, and conduct other common transactions online with the Department. The Department encourages you to e-file for faster service, but also cautions you take notice of whether or not you are on an official legitimate website before transmitting your information.

 

Please 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.

 

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Deborah Kwan | State of Hawaii – Department of Taxation

830 Punchbowl Street, Rm 221, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

(808) 587-1540 | http://tax.hawaii.gov