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Taxpayer advocate warns about scams

State taxpayer rights advocate Margaret Neri is cautioning New Yorkers to beware of scam artists seeking personal information to “confirm” taxpayers are eligible for a tax rebate.

“Tax scammers will take advantage of any opportunity to solicit information — including Social Security numbers — from taxpayers,” Neri said Tuesday.

The New York State Tax Department has learned scam artists have contacted taxpayers to allegedly help them receive a tax rebate.

Initial reports are the calls have been made in Central New York. However, the department cautions all New Yorkers to be vigilant when being asked for personal information.

The department always makes first contact by letter, which includes a phone number you can contact to verify that it was sent by the agency.

For the new Family Tax Relief and Property Tax Freeze credits, the department confirms eligibility using available data; taxpayers are not being contacted by telephone.

To report a scam, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau at 1-800-771-7755.