(a) If it
is tax return fraud, then:
1. if a
Maryland tax return, then call Maryland Comptroller at 1-800-638-2937 between 8:30 AM-4:30 PM, Monday through Friday
(see https://taxes.marylandtaxes.gov/Individual_Taxes/Taxpayer_Assistance/Identity_Protection/ for more information), and
2. if a
federal tax return, contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or refer online to https://www.irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams.
(b) If it
is identity theft, there are many places to contact. A good place to start is the Maryland Attorney
General’s Identity Theft Unit: http://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/Pages/IdentityTheft/default.aspx.
(c) If it
is a mail sweepstakes or other mail-based scam, contact the U.S. Postal
Inspection Service: http://about.usps.com/publications/pub300a/pub300a_tech_024.htm.
(d) If it
is an Internet- or telephone-based scam, it is often hard to know where to
report because the scams are so varied and the perpetrators could be in a
country far away. Here is a valuable
federal website that gives reporting tips on many different types of scams: https://www.usa.gov/stop-scams-frauds.
(e) If you
believe the matter is an unfair business practice by a business operating in
Maryland, contact the Maryland Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division:
Scams using undue influence by a “new friend,”
e.g., romance scams, are particularly difficult to deal with if the person does
not believe and cannot be convinced they are being exploited. Sometimes hiring a private attorney or
investigator may be the best route. A
private attorney or investigator may be able to gather enough information to
convince the police to open a criminal investigation.
(g) If the
matter concerns insurance products, e.g., annuities or insurance policies sold
to inappropriate customers, contact the Maryland Insurance Administration: https://insurance.maryland.gov/consumer/pages/fileacomplaint.aspx.
(h) If the
matter involves home improvements, file a complaint with the Maryland Home
Improvement Commission: https://www.dllr.state.md.us/license/mhic/mhiccomp.shtml.
If the matter involves the sale of investments,
you may file a complaint with the Maryland Securities Division by calling
410-576-7050. More information is here: http://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/Pages/Securities/default.aspx.
6. If the exploiter is a family member, caregiver, or neighbor, you may also want to explore the
possibility of hiring a private attorney to obtain some relief for the victim.
301 West Preston Street Suite 1007, Baltimore, MD 21201
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