The IRS is warning taxpayers about a new scam linked to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).
The scam works like this: The victim receives a phone call from someone claiming to be with the IRS who says that certified letters have been sent, but were returned undeliverable. The caller threatens the victim with arrest if a payment is not made through a prepaid debit card that is linked to the EFTPS system. The EFTPS system is a freely available automated system that does not require a prepaid debit card. The victim may also be warned not to contact their tax preparer, attorney or local IRS office until after the tax payment is made.
The IRS is reminding taxpayers that the first contact they receive from the actual IRS will not be through a “random, threatening phone call.” According to the IRS, there are numerous signs that you are being targeted for an IRS payment scam.
Here are the most likely
- Phone call demanding immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. The IRS does not use these methods for tax payment.
- Threats to immediately bring in law enforcement groups to arrest the taxpayer if payment is not made.
- Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
- Request credit or debit card information over the phone.
If you receive a call meeting this, or similar, criteria, do not give out any personal information and hang up immediately. If you have any questions about any call or letter you receive from someone claiming to be the IRS, please contact us right away to discuss.