Tipton Acts to Protect Coloradans from Scammers, Encourages Heightened Awareness During Tax Season
Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) voted in support of a measure that would give Coloradans more protections from scammers seeking to obtain their personal information for fraudulent use.
On Jan. 23, 2017, the House of Representatives passed the Anti-Spoofing Act of 2017 (H.R. 423), a bill that extends the existing Truth in Caller ID Act to cover text messaging and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), or internet phone services. The bill allows the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to impose penalties and criminal fines on individuals who “spoof,” or use fake information about a caller’s identification, for fraudulent purposes.
“Millions of Americans continue to be targeted by scam artists, and today’s technology is such that these groups now have multiple ways to get valuable information and steal thousands of dollars from the people who least suspect it,” said Tipton. “I’m glad the House was able to pass a bill to help rein in these illegal practices, and I encourage all Coloradans to remain vigilant during this upcoming tax season.”
The Colorado Department of Revenue has warned residents of a telephone scam, where the caller will identify themselves as a representative from the State Tax Investigation Department and claim the individual has violated banking regulations or cheated on tax credits. The caller will then ask the individual to wire a large sum of money via pre-paid credit and debit cards. These calls are not from the Colorado Department of Revenue.
The Department has assured taxpayers that it will not contact them over the telephone and request pre-paid credit or debit card numbers to pay an outstanding balance. Legitimate communication from the Department of Revenue will be done via letters mailed to the taxpayer’s address.
“If you think you have been the target of scam, I encourage you to report suspicious activity to our state and federal watchdogs. My offices are always available to help point you in the right direction,” Tipton added.
The Colorado Criminal Tax Investigation Section can be reached by calling 303-205-8262 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on reporting scams to the Internal Revenue Service can be viewed at www.irs.gov/uac/report-phising.