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WBAL TV: Comptroller warns Marylanders to beware of tax scams (VIDEO)

Video available at BALTIMORE — As Marylanders are filing tax returns, criminals are hard at work trying to scam taxpayers out of money. While there are several versions of tax scams, one of the most common is by phone. Oftentimes the scheme involves a person calling to say a taxpayer owes taxes and will be arrested to face huge fines if they don't pay right away.

The scammer claims the taxpayer can pay their debts using a gift card, other prepaid cards or wire transfers. Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said people fall for this every year.

"It's a big problem. Seniors are targets to thinking these phone calls are valid. They are not valid. If you are going to get something from the government, it will be in writing," Franchot said.

Franchot said anyone who gets a similar call should not provide any information and hang up the phone immediately. It's suggested taxpayers should report the issue to the Comptroller's Office by calling 800-MD-TAXES (800-638-2937) or 410-260-7980, or email

The deadline to file taxes is April 17.

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