Palm Beach County Tax Collector Anne M. Gannon is warning the public about a sweepstakes scam targeting county taxpayers.
The scammers are targeting potential victims by sending them communication which resembles Gannon’s official letterhead, requesting the “winner” pay a tax or fee on their “prize.”
The communication identifies the Tax Collector as an agent of the Internal Revenue Service. IRS forms are attached to the letter with instructions for the taxpayer to pay the fee.
Gannon is not an agent of the IRS and will never send communication to taxpayers in conjunction with IRS forms. If anyone receives this type of communication, report it immediately by calling (561) 355-2264.
“Protecting the taxpayers of Palm Beach County from this type of crime is critically important,” she said. “This scam can be extremely convincing, especially to our senior citizens.”
Gannon reminds taxpayers that legitimate sweepstake contests will never ask you to pay a fee or tax to collect a prize. She also urges taxpayers to protect their personal information. Do not give Social Security numbers, bank account information or other personal data unless you are sure of the caller’s identity and authenticity.
If you think you have been targeted, file a police report with your local law enforcement office; file a report with the FBI by calling (754) 703-2000; file a report with the IRS; and contact the Federal Trade Commission at (877) FTC-HELP.