The Kane County Recorder’s Office is alerting residents to a “Distraint Warrant Scam” letter that looks official and appears to be sent from Kane County government.
Kane County Recorder Sandy Wegman said letters are being received locally, with “Presorted First Class U.S. Postage Paid” notice, bar codes and a warning that the mail is for addressee only and “violation is punishable by crime or imprisonment.”
The sender is “Bureau of Tax Enforcement, Kane County, Public Judgement Records.”
“I think everyone should be aware of this scam,” Wegman said.
Similar scams have played out in counties and states across the country.
The most recent Kane County version asks the recipient to call an 866 number by May 20, 2019.
“NOTE: Interest will continue to accrue until the $25,402.00 balance is paid in full by due date,” the letter says.
How To Report Scams
Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain said the Distraint Warrant Scam is one of many IRS-related frauds that take place this time of year.
“We often receive reports of IRS scams at the Sheriff’s Office, and this is just one more version,” he said. “We must note that Kane County does not have any such division as the Bureau of Tax Enforcement. Official correspondence from the IRS will come on their letterhead and will not indicate that the recipient needs to submit a payment upon their initial contact. ”
Hain suggests that the public never respond to any attempts to acquire money from them by phone or mail.
If you do receive a scam letter, it’s a good idea to report it to local, state or federal officials.
“Our public can never call the police enough,” Hain said. “If anyone is concerned about any criminal activity, including scams like this, just pick up the phone and dial 9-1-1.”
To help the public recognize and avoid abusive tax schemes, the IRS offers an abundance of educational materials.
Participating in an illegal scheme to avoid paying taxes can result in imprisonment and fines, as well as the repayment of taxes owed with penalties and interest. Education is the best way to avoid the pitfalls of these “too good to be true” tax scams.
How To Report Scams to State Attorney General’s Office
If you’ve been victimized by fraud, deception, or unfair methods of competition, the Consumer Protection Division of the Illinois Attorney General’s office may be able to help. The Consumer Fraud Hotline number is 1-800-386-5438 for the Chicago area. The Senior Citizen Consumer Fraud Hotline number is 1-800-243-5377, according to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office website.
- Click this link for the Illinois Attorney General’s Office Consumer Complaint Online Submission Form.