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California Board of Equalization Imposters


This just out: “Be on the lookout for impersonators presenting themselves as BOE representatives or investigators” says the California Board of Equalization (BOE) Tax Information Bulletin.

Thieves have apparently found a unique way of getting into your cash drawer and stealing money or taking items off the shelf. Retailers have reported that individuals have entered their stores, identified themselves as representatives from the BOE and requested information from the manager that forces them to go to another part of the store. While the manager or clerk is gone, the individual(s) will steal “…cash, cigarettes, and other tobacco products."

In response to these concerns, the BOE has proactively provided a Special Notice to all businesses warning them to be on the lookout for imposters. Businesses are reminded that BOE representatives “…routinely visit California businesses to verify whether businesses have the proper permits and licenses as required by the BOE.” Although, these visits are not entirely formal, the representatives will always present themselves with BOE identification and a business card or document with BOE contact information and explain the nature of their visit and verify required permits and licenses. Both of which are generally on display in a place of business.

If businesses are suspicious of someone presenting themselves to be a BOE representative, the BOE encourages that you not provide any personal or secure information. “If you suspect an impersonator or have any concerns, immediately contact your local law enforcement agency. When it is safe, contact the BOE’s hotline number at 888-334-3300 to report the incident.” The BOE reminds us that impersonating a government employee is a felony crime.

The Special Notice also gives the following website for you to use to contact your local BOE office and confirm the identity of the representative: http://www.boe.ca.gov/info/phone.htm. It might be a good time to post your local BOE number near your cash register as well so you can call immediately if someone indicates they are from the BOE and you are suspicious of their behavior.


Avalara Author
Susan McLain
Avalara Author Susan McLain
Susan McLain began her career as a technical writer in technology industries such as satellite networking and medical devices. Her skills encompass technical and marketing writing, usability engineering, verification and validation testing and protocol writing, requirements development, business analysis, technical illustration/graphic design and marketing. She has owned her own business providing service to small to medium sized business and in other positions, she has been in project management, documentation and marketing. She is currently the content specialist for Avalara helping to “make sales tax less taxing.”