Revenue department warns of potential scam

Thursday, October 18, 2007 | 12:22 p.m. CDT; updated 11:01 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

The Missouri Department of Revenue issued an alert Thursday warning about a potential scam involving income tax.

The Department of Revenue, which collects state taxes, received a couple of calls Wednesday from people who said that a person identifying himself as “Shane” had called them, asking for bank account and routing information so the department could return overpayments of income taxes. The return phone number left for taxpayers to call is a 204 area code in Canada.

The Missouri Department of Revenue does not call taxpayers to request personal information, said Lowell Pearson, deputy director of the department.

“We issue refunds to people almost every day, but the distinguishing thing is we know where to send (a refund) to you,” Pearson said. “There really is no reason for us in the normal course of business to make a phone call like that.”

If you receive such a call, Pearson said, do not give the caller any personal information, such as a bank account number or a Social Security number. You should also report the call to the Columbia Police Department at 442-6131.

Columbia police Sgt. Dianne Bernhard said she didn’t know of any recent calls to the Police Department reporting the incident.

The Department of Revenue is investigating and trying to identify the individuals involved.

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