ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Comptroller Peter Franchot reminds Maryland taxpayers to remain vigilant, as fraudsters never sleep. Criminals are always looking for new opportunities to scam money from hardworking Marylanders. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have seen a sharp increase in scams ranging from stimulus check theft and grant money offers to elder financial fraud schemes and persons posing as tax collectors.

The key to fraud prevention begins with education. If something sounds too good to be true, then it usually is. However, there are other indicators to help you identify a con artist. If you receive an email, examine the domain name. Does it match the domain name of the actual organization? If you receive a phone call from someone you do not know, do not provide any personally identifying information.

If you are unsure if something is a scam, the best thing to do is not respond. Hang up the phone, do not reply to the email or letter, and instead contact the organization directly. If for example, you received a “certificate” from the Comptroller of Maryland promising grant money, take a closer look. Is there a Maryland phone number? Is the notice grammatically correct? Do you recall applying for a grant? The best course of action is to reach out to our office and ask if it is legitimate by calling 1-800-MD-TAXES.

“We are aware that thieves are upping their game during this pandemic, and it is important for Marylanders to keep their elbows up,” Comptroller Franchot said. “My office will never call you and ask for your personal information.”

Many helpful fraud prevention tips and resources can be found by visiting .