AG Urges Trafficking Awareness During NFL Draft

AG Urges Trafficking Awareness During NFL Draft

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April 24, 2024

Media Contact:
Danny Wimmer

AG Nessel Urges Human Trafficking Awareness During NFL Draft

LANSING – With the NFL Draft expecting to bring hundreds of thousands of football fans to Detroit later this week, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel wants residents to be familiar with the signs of human trafficking, a crime that often preys on large gatherings.

“The NFL Draft will bring a lot of energy and excitement to Detroit, but it can also attract those wishing to exploit others,” Nessel said. “By being informed and aware of the signs of human trafficking, we can all play a major role in protecting those most vulnerable to falling victim.”

Human trafficking victims may:

  • Exhibit signs of abuse, including bruises, cuts, burns, scars, or lack of health care or proper nourishment,
  • Not be in control of their own money, or identifying documents, such as a driver’s license or passport,
  • Avoid eye contact with others, and appear fearful of the person they’re with,
  • Not be allowed to communicate on their own behalf or have their communication restricted. Another person may answer all questions on their behalf, or
  • Not admit they are victims or ask for help.

The Attorney General’s website includes additional tips for health care professionals (PDF)first responders (PDF), and hospitality workers (PDF) – who all have a greater chance of encountering a victim of trafficking directly.

Victims of human trafficking or those who have identified someone they think may need help can contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 888-373-7888 or text 233733. This is a national, toll-free hotline, that is available to answer calls, texts, and chats from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. All calls are confidential.


Be Aware of Parking Scams During NFL Draft

Be Aware of Parking Scams During NFL Draft

Nessel Email Header

April 23, 2024

Media Contact:
Danny Wimmer

AG Nessel Advises Attendees to Be Aware of Parking Scams During NFL Draft

LANSING – As Detroit prepares to host its first-ever NFL Draft April 25-27, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel warns residents about parking scams targeting attendees.

“Hosting the Draft is a major win for Detroit and Michigan, but this exciting event comes with the potential risk of parking scams,” Nessel said. “By following some simple tips, you can avoid falling victim to deceptive parking practices and ensure your car stays safe during the event.”

The city of Detroit has announced many street closures throughout downtown to accommodate the many associated events. Eager visitors arriving by car often park in privately owned lots, but sometimes scammers take advantage of these events to sell parking spaces for lots they don’t have authority over – which could lead to cars being ticketed, towed, or even worse, stolen.

Nessel encourages residents to ask for a receipt or parking ticket upon payment, to never give their keys to the attendant unless there are posted valet signs, and they’ve confirmed ahead of time with the location that the valet service is one they offer.

Another scam involves bad actors issuing fake parking tickets. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns that technology makes it easy for bad actors to create authentic appearing parking tickets. The fake ticket will ask consumers to pay online or use a QR code.  Nessel reminds residents to visit that municipality’s website directly or to call the court and verify the existence of the ticket before following the web or QR code directions.

 The BBB offers the following advice to avoid falling for this scam:

  • Know before you park. Before visiting a new place, research available parking and local parking requirements. Tourists with out-of-state plates are often the preferred target for parking scams because they are likely unfamiliar with local parking laws.
  • Examine the citation carefully. Scammers can imitate logos and city office names, but an imitation website is usually where the scam comes to light. Do an internet search for the city’s official parking ticket websites and compare what’s found to what is on the ticket. Keep in mind that government sites should end in a .gov or .ca (in Canada) designation, and if there is a payment page, it should always have a secure connection.
  • Double-check the name checks should be made out to. If the ticket allows for payment by check, take a closer look at the entity and address to which you are instructed to mail the check. Checks should generally be made out to a specific government organization, not a string of initials or personal names.
  • Pay traffic citations by credit card when possible. It will be easier to contest fraudulent charges if consumers discover they’ve been scammed down the road.

 To file a complaint with the Attorney General, or get additional information, contact:

Consumer Protection Team
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909
Fax: 517-241-3771
Toll-free: 877-765-8388
Online complaint form


Oakland County Planting Nearly 500 Trees

Oakland County Planting Nearly 500 Trees

Oakland County Planting Nearly 500 Trees on Government Campus While Reducing Fleet Fuel Consumption as Earth Day Approaches

Post Date:04/18/2024 1:43 PM
  • These trees have the potential to absorb 12 tons of carbon dioxide a year from the atmosphere.
  • The county’s reduction in fuel consumption averted the release of 2.46 million pounds of carbon dioxide which is nearly equal to the amount of carbon dioxide released globally every second.
  • Oakland County’s strategic sustainability goal is to reach net zero carbon emissions for county operations by 2050.

Pontiac, Mich. – Oakland County is taking strides toward a greener, more sustainable government campus with the planting of about 500 trees this spring. When these trees mature, on average, each will remove 48 pounds of carbon dioxide a year from the atmosphere, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s the potential to absorb nearly 12 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

In addition, the county successfully decreased its fleet fuel consumption by an impressive 123,000 gallons in 2023. The fuel savings averted the release of 2.46 million pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In comparison, the world released 2.57 million pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every second in 2023, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website.

“These initiatives underscore our continued commitment of sustainable practices – Earth Day is every day in the county,” Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter said. “By planting trees and reducing fleet fuel consumption, we are taking proactive steps to protect our environment and build a more resilient future.”

Oakland County’s strategic sustainability goal is to reach net zero carbon emissions for county operations by 2050, with an interim target of cutting its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2035.

“Each action we take impacts our environment – big and small,” said Chief Sustainability Officer Erin Quetell. “It is our goal to make aggressive changes to reduce our emissions, while also creating a more accessible, safe, and enjoyable Oakland County campus.”

This ambitious tree planting initiative, which began April 8, will see a mix of native evergreen, deciduous shade, and flowering trees all over the main campus and at the South Oakland Office Building and South Oakland Health Center. It not only enhances the beauty of the campus but also plays a vital role in mitigating climate change, improving air quality, and fostering biodiversity within the community. The goal is to plant 2,027 trees on the government campus by 2027.

“There are several benefits to planting these trees such as air purification, oxygen generation, and reduction of the heat island effect,” said Mark Baldwin, chief of landscape services for Oakland County. “The biggest benefit I see is that people like trees and it makes them happier when they see more trees.”

The county purchased the trees, which are seven to 15 years old, from suppliers in both the Upper and Lower peninsulas. Oakland County Facilities, Maintenance & Operations grounds crews are planting them using current International Society of Arboriculture guidelines to help the roots grow outward from the root ball instead of in a circular fashion which results in roots girdling the trunk.

The other way Oakland County is building a sustainable campus is by reducing its fleet fuel consumption, reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Its fleet of more than 900 vehicles is responsible for 15% of the county’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The county has adopted several measures to cut fuel use. These include adding electric and hybrid vehicles, with 10 EVs and three hybrids already in use. The county also replaces vehicles every five years, well below the 14-year average for private vehicles, thereby acquiring vehicles that are more fuel-efficient more often. Moreover, frequent wheel alignments, as part of a rigorous maintenance program at the county’s Central Garage, are saving around two percent in fuel consumption. These efforts are not only reducing emissions but also saving costs and promoting environmental sustainability.

Oakland County’s buildings, which cover nearly 2 million square feet, account for 76% of the county’s greenhouse gas emissions. In a partnership between the Oakland County Facilities Management Department and the Office of Sustainability, the team is working towards building decarbonization, energy efficiency, and future building electrification.

Oakland County’s strategic goal of sustainability will continue to explore and implement innovative solutions to address environmental challenges and promote a healthier, more sustainable future. For more information about Oakland County’s sustainability initiatives, click on

SMART Route 492 Connecting Residents to Employment

SMART Route 492 Connecting Residents to Employment

SMART Route 492 Connecting Residents and Visitors to Key Employment and Educational Centers

Post Date:04/18/2024 9:09 AM
  • SMART Route 492 launches Monday, April 22 connecting riders from the State Fair Transit Center all the way up to the Oakland University area.
  • Residents and visitors alike will have enhanced access to key destinations and employment centers across Oakland County.
  • Route service hours will be from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays. For more information, visit

April 18, 2024, Pontiac, Mich. ­– Oakland County transit options continue to expand with the launch of the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation’s (SMART) Route 492, which will enable commuters to travel seamlessly from the State Fair Transit Center in Detroit, through bustling business districts in Troy and Rochester, to the educational hub surrounding Oakland University.

Voters who overwhelmingly approved Oakland County’s transportation millage in 2022 made this new fixed route possible.

“This new route is another step toward providing convenient and reliable transportation options for our residents,” County Executive Dave Coulter said. “I’m thrilled to broaden access to educational and employment opportunities in all corners of the county and promote economic growth for our people and businesses.”

Route 492, which begins service Monday, will connect riders from the State Fair Transit Center in Detroit through Ferndale, Royal Oak, Clawson, Troy, and Rochester, all the way to Walton Boulevard across from Oakland University in Auburn Hills.

Residents and visitors alike will have enhanced access to key destinations and employment centers across Oakland County, such as educational, health and entertainment locations, as well as shopping and grocery stores. They include the Royal Oak Music Theater, Hampton Village Plaza, Downtown Rochester, Ascension Hospital, Troy Continuing Education, Rochester High School, Sylvan Glen Park, Meadowbrook Amphitheater and Nino Salvaggio.

“As we look forward to the launch of Route 492, we anticipate a positive ripple effect on the local economy,” SMART General Manager Dwight Ferrell said. “Businesses in Auburn Hills, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Royal Oak, and Ferndale stand to gain from increased foot traffic and new consumers who will now have convenient access to their establishments—with no parking required. This route represents not just a means of transportation but also a catalyst for economic growth and community prosperity.”

Route service hours will be from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays. For more information about Route 492 and SMART’s services, visit or call 866-962-5515.

Alert to Business Owners Tax Scams May Target Them

Alert to Business Owners Tax Scams May Target Them

Nessel Email Header

April 15, 2024

Media Contact:
Danny Wimmer

AG Nessel Re-Issues Alert to Warn Medium and Small Business Owners That Tax Scams May Target Them

LANSING – Amid Financial Literacy Month, and on Tax Filing Day, it’s critical that small business owners are vigilant against tax scams by bad actors who are actively targeting entrepreneurs. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is re-issuing her alert, Tax Scams Targeting Small and Midsized Businesses, to underscore the importance of understanding and safeguarding small businesses against financial fraud.

Scammers are stepping up their attempts to deceive businesses through dishonest schemes, putting them in serious financial danger. These scams frequently use threats of legal action, fictitious tax bills, or promises of tax refunds to deceive unsuspecting business owners or their employees.

“Criminals who perpetrate tax scams against small and midsized businesses are not only defrauding hardworking entrepreneurs but also undermining the integrity of our tax system for financial gain,” said Nessel. “My department is committed to protecting all Michigan residents from bad actors. I encourage small business owners to remain vigilant against these fraudulent attempts by understanding the common scams that target their organizations during tax season.”

In her alert, AG Nessel outlines some of the tax-related scams perpetrated against small and midsized businesses.

  • Business-Related W-2 Scams – These scams happen when cybercriminals send phony emails or text messages to payroll and HR specialists, enticing them to divulge private tax information to gain access to workers’ W-2 Forms. These tactics put employees and company data at risk. According to the IRS, the communications can read something like this: “I am analyzing some reports and need a copy of your W-2s for last year. Please send ASAP.” Once the cybercriminals obtain the W-2s, they file fictitious tax forms in an attempt to get refunds. Companies should review their policies for sharing employee data and consider a two-person oversight process for approving employee data distribution.
  • Employer ID Number Scams – When companies apply for Employer Identification Numbers (EINs), they can be lured to fraudulent websites. EINs are free and can be obtained legitimately through Any site that does not end with a .gov is not an official government website.
  • IRS Imposter Scams – This is the most frequently reported scam, which involves scammers claiming to be from the IRS, who place calls to individuals telling them they or their business owes taxes that must be paid urgently to avoid additional penalties or jail. The IRS will never contact you by text, phone, or email and demand immediate payment and will never ask for payment in the form of gift cards or through money apps.

The AG’s alert recommends businesses create a security protocol and train employees to recognize scams and government imposters.

If you believe your business has been the victim of an IRS scam:

The AG has also launched a Business Identity Theft iniatiaive, and travels the state to provide educational presentations to business groups and chambers to help create awareness about the different forms of identity theft that target small businesses. To inquire about upcoming presentations or to request that this information be delivered to your organization or group, contact the Department.

To file a complaint with the Attorney General, or get additional information, contact:

Consumer Protection Team
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909
Fax: 517-241-3771
Toll-free: 877-765-8388
Online complaint form

Your connection to consumer protection is just a click or phone call away. The Department provides a library of resources for consumers to review anytime on a variety of topics.

Last-Minute Tips Before Individual Income Tax Deadline

Last-Minute Tips Before Individual Income Tax Deadline

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April 15, 2024

Contact: Ron Leix, Treasury, 517-335-2167

Treasury Provides Last-Minute Tips Before Individual Income Tax Deadline

Tax Returns and Payments Due before Midnight Tonight

LANSING, Mich. – With taxpayers required to either e-file or mail their state individual income tax returns by midnight tonight, the Michigan Department of Treasury (Treasury) has some tips to help last-minute filers submit an accurate return.

To ensure an accurate income tax return is filed with the state of Michigan:

  • File electronically. Taxpayers can go to to learn more about e-filing options.
  • Mail a paper return to the right address. To avoid processing delays, paper filers should carefully follow tax form instructions when sending a paper return to a specific address.
  • Fill in all requested information. When entering information on the tax return, take the time to ensure information is accurate. Information on paper returns should be legible and easy to read.
  • Review all figures. While software catches and prevents many errors on e-filed returns, math errors remain common on paper returns.
  • Get the right routing and account numbers. Requesting direct deposit of a state tax refund is convenient and enables the taxpayer to access their money faster. Make sure the financial institution’s routing and account numbers entered on the return are accurate.
  • Sign and date the return. If paper filing a joint return, both spouses must sign and date the return. Most e-file software platforms allow electronic signatures.
  • Submit all the required forms. Paper filers should carefully follow the instructions and attach all forms as indicated. If possible, use a paperclip, binder clip or rubber band to hold all documents together.
  • Owe tax? Taxpayers can pay their outstanding tax balance by check, money order, eCheck, debit or credit card.

Need an extension?

Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file a return beyond the April 15 deadline can request an extension to Oct. 15, 2024. Taxpayers can request additional time to file by using MI Form 4, Instructions for Application for Extension of Time to File Michigan Tax Returns.

Taxpayers requesting additional time to file should also estimate their tax liability and pay any taxes owed by April 15, 2024, to avoid additional interest and penalties. An extension to file is not an extension to pay.

Some taxpayers impacted by last year’s storm may qualify for an extension.

Do you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit for Working Families?

For the 2023 tax year, Michigan quintupled the Earned Income Tax Credit for Working Families.

To qualify, individuals must meet certain requirements and file a federal income tax return, even if no tax is owed or there is no requirement to file a return. If a federal credit is granted, the state of Michigan will provide an additional 30% credit when the taxpayer files their state income tax return.

Taxpayers are encouraged to check to see if they are eligible. Both federal and state tax credits reduce the amount of tax owed and may provide a refund.

Have questions?

Michigan taxpayers who have questions about or need help with their individual income tax returns or refunds can digitally connect with the state Treasury Department through its Treasury eServices platform.

To learn more about Michigan’s individual income tax or to download forms, go to For more information from Treasury, go to or follow @MiTreasury on X, formerly Twitter.