Deceptive letter uses court name and threatens to seize bank accounts of residents, Maryland Judiciary warns

News Release, Maryland Judiciary

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Maryland Judiciary is alerting the public to a potential mail scam that threatens seizure of bank accounts if residents don’t call a private company to pay tax debts. The deceptive letter has surfaced in Anne Arundel County, but also may be happening elsewhere.

The letter refers to the recipient’s state tax lien, which is public record, and pressures the recipient to immediately call the phone number provided to avoid having bank accounts, property, and other assets seized. It has a return address of “Anne Arundel County Court House” but is postmarked Denver. The phone number is not affiliated with the courts or any government office.

“The letter looks like it comes from us and we are going to seize their bank accounts, which is not true,” said Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Clerk Scott Poyer. “It also uses the word ‘warrant’ in several places, but there is no warrant.”

The letter has been reported to the Office of the Maryland Comptroller, which is the state taxing authority, and the Criminal Investigations Division of the Maryland Office of the Attorney General.

People who have questions about potential scams like this can contact the Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Division, 410-528-8662, or toll free 888-743-0023.