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Richmond issues warning about tax-related scam

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RICHMOND, Va. - The City of Richmond has issued a warning about an apparent scam.

"The City has received several reports of individuals posing as collections agents working on behalf of the City of Richmond and attempting to collect taxpayer financial information," city spokesman Mike Wallace wrote in an email. "The individuals are soliciting credit/debit card information from taxpayers for payments on alleged outstanding tax bills."

Kevin Ervin, Operations Manager with the City's finance department said they've received phone calls from people alerting them about the scam as well as residents coming to City Hall to report the problem.

Ervin said if there's an outstanding tax with a resident, the department will start with a delinquency letter, but collections agents do make phone calls at times.

"If anybody asks you or calls you with an inquiry, call us first just to verify that it's accurate," said Ervin.

Elaine Richardson lives in Richmond and said she's no stranger to different kinds of phone scams.

"They've asked me what's your social security number," she said.

Richardson said she doesn't believe any of these sorts of scams but said this most recent one is a reminder to be on the look out.

"They are preying on those less fortunate people and that's their game," said Richardson.

Wallace said anyone who gets a call they feel is not legitimate should call the City of Richmond Customer Care Line at 3-1-1 (646-7000).

"Finance representatives can review customer accounts and if an outstanding balance is due, can refer customers to the proper collections agency," Wallace said.