Annapolis, Md. – Comptroller Peter Franchot warns taxpayers to stay vigilant and safeguard their personal information by being alert to a new phone scam aimed at scaring people into paying money.

A taxpayer alerted the agency’s Compliance Division Friday morning that he had received two suspicious phone calls supposedly from the Comptroller’s Office and threatening arrest if he didn’t pay his tax bill. Field Enforcement agents are investigating the phone numbers provided by the taxpayer.

“If anyone calls you asking for personal information or worse yet, threatening you with arrest, don’t respond and hang up immediately,” Comptroller Franchot said. “The staff of my agency would never treat Maryland taxpayers that way. These crooks are trying to scare you by taking your money and stealing your identity. They are shameless, unscrupulous predators trying to destroy your financial sanctity.”

Neither the Comptroller’s Office nor the Internal Revenue Service calls taxpayers and ask for personal information or Social Security numbers.

The Comptroller’s Office warns taxpayers to also not reply to emails requesting confidential information, especially your Social Security number, birth date, salary information or home address. If you receive an email asking for a copy of your W-2 form, you should immediately contact your employer. You also may call 1-800-MD-TAXES or email