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Oct. 27, 2021
Contact: Ron Leix, Treasury, 517-335-2167

Treasury: Be Cybersecurity Aware and Prepared to Fight
Tax-Related Identity Theft

 October is Michigan’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month

LANSING, Mich. – With Michigan’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October coming to a close, the Michigan Department of Treasury is reminding Michiganders to be cybersecurity aware and prepared to fight tax-related identity theft.
Cybercriminals are consistently using new tricks and tactics online to obtain personal information so they can fraudulently file state income tax returns and claim refunds on behalf of unsuspecting taxpayers. Often, the taxpayer is already a victim of identity theft when a cybercriminal attempts to claim a state tax refund.
“Vigilance is key to fighting cybercrime,” State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said. “Always examine the calls, emails and texts you receive to ensure they’re from a verified source. If you have questions about your taxes or suspect you may be a victim of tax-related identity theft, always feel free to contact us for assistance.”
To be cybersecurity aware and prepared to fight tax-related identity theft:
  • Only connect to the Internet over secure, password-protected networks.
  • Do not click on links or pop-ups, open attachments or respond to emails from individuals you don’t know.
  • If you are unsure of the email sender, type a website name by hand rather than clicking on an embedded link.
  • Do not respond to online requests for personally identifiable information. Most organizations—banks, universities, companies, Treasury—do not ask for your personal information over the Internet.
  • Limit who you share information with by reviewing the privacy settings of your social media accounts.
  • Trust your intuition. If you think an offer is too good to be true, then it probably is.
  • Password-protect all user accounts and devices that connect to the Internet with strong passwords at least 12 characters long.
  • Do not use the same password twice. Choose a password that means something to you and only you. Change your password on a regular basis.
  • If something seems suspicious, report it to the proper authorities.
Cybercriminals typically try to create a sense of urgency to incite an immediate response from taxpayers. For a state tax return, they might say something like, “failure to provide information may result in the inability to process your return.”
As an additional layer of taxpayer protection, the state Treasury Department sends confirmation quiz letters to some taxpayers to help prevent the loss of state income tax refunds.
Since 2017, the state Treasury Department’s increased security measures protected more than 6,300 taxpayers who confirmed their identity was stolen and used to request state of Michigan income tax refunds. This prevented more than $24.5 million from being distributed to scammers.
Taxpayers should follow the directions if a confirmation quiz letter is received.
Individuals interested in learning more about how to protect themselves and their families online should visit the Michigan Cyber Initiative website at This website provides information ranging from how to practice proper cyber “hygiene” to learning about what to do if you are a victim of a cybercrime.
To learn more about the state Treasury Department, go to or follow @MITreasury on Twitter.
Recent scams:

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Oct. 5, 2021

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

Treasury: Get Ready. Get Set. FAFSA!

FAFSA Submission Period Began Oct. 1,
Applications due by March 1 for State Priority Consideration

LANSING, Mich. – The very first step for students and families to take when applying for scholarships and other forms of financial assistance is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), according to the Michigan Department of Treasury.

The FAFSA is needed when applying for grants, scholarships and other forms of financial assistance. The U.S. Department of Education began accepting FAFSA submissions on Friday, Oct. 1.

“Completing the FAFSA should be on top of everyone’s list when applying for college financial aid,” said Robin Lott, executive director of Treasury’s Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning. “I strongly encourage students and parents not to wait to complete this free application. Missing the March 1, 2022, deadline could result in missing out on critical dollars that could help pay for college. Please do not delay and submit your application sooner rather than later.”

Academic Year 2022-23 FAFSA submissions received at the federal processor on or before March 1, 2022, are given priority consideration for the Michigan Competitive Scholarship and Michigan Tuition Grant.

Students who wait to complete their FAFSA after the March 1 deadline may not receive all the financial aid they could have been entitled to receive.

Prior to completing the FAFSA online, the student and at least one parent or guardian must obtain a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) at This ID serves as a legal signature and confirms an applicant’s identity when accessing financial aid information through certain U.S. Department of Education websites.

To get started with the FAFSA, go to To learn more about State of Michigan scholarships and grant programs, visit the MI Student Aid website at

Administered by Treasury, MI Student Aid is Michigan’s go-to resource for finding the financial resources needed to pay for college. For more information, contact MI Student Aid at 1-888-447-2687 or @mistudentaid on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

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