LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is alerting Michigan residents about fraudulent letters directed to workers and businesses. The letters attempt to collect an outstanding debt and are part of a scam that fraudulently identify the sender as the State of Michigan. While the sender uses the “State of Michigan” throughout the letter, the scammer may be seeking to unlawfully collect a debt that is owed to the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) or the Michigan Department of Treasury, which functions as the state’s debt collection agency.
In the scam, residents or employers are informed of an overdue state debt that requires immediate payment through a toll-free number to resolve the outstanding balance. The recipients are threatened with seizure of their bank accounts, wages, business assets, cars, real estate, refunds, and cash if past due debts are not paid. The letters use personal information that can be gleaned from internet records to make their sources sound legitimate and make the threats more likely to result in payment.
But these letters are not from the State of Michigan, the UIA, or the Michigan Department of Treasury. Workers and businesses should note that any letters from the Department of Treasury will be printed on Treasury Department letterhead and will also provide options for paying the debt, as well as outline taxpayer rights. Letters from the UIA will contain information about how to protest and appeal payment determinations. Letters from Treasury or the UIA will always include the names of departmental leadership at the top.
The purpose of the letter is not just to fraudulently secure payments, but information provided to the sender could also be used to commit identity theft.
“Posing as our state agencies to scare businesses and workers into paying entities that they don’t owe is just another way bad actors have devised to steal from Michigan residents,” Nessel said. “I encourage anyone who believes they have been scammed to contact the consumer protection team in my office. We are committed to holding accountable those who use dishonesty and coercion to scam Michigan residents out of their hard-earned dollars.”
If you have a consumer complaint or believe you’ve been the victim of a scam, please file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Team at:
Consumer Protection Team
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909
Toll free: 877-765-8388
Online complaint form