Douglas Tax Blog. U.S.A. IR-2017-107
The Internal Revenue Service has warned people to beware of new irs summer phone scams linked to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment system or EFTPS for short, where fraudsters call to demand an immediate tax payment through a prepaid debit card. This scam is being reported across the country, so taxpayers should be alert to the details. Such fraud can lead to identity theft, to tax refund fraud, economic loss, or tax debts.
In the latest twist, the scammer claims to be from the IRS and tells the victim about two certified letters purportedly sent to the taxpayer in the mail but returned as undeliverable. The scam artist then threatens arrest if a payment is not made through a prepaid debit card. The scammer also tells the victim that the card is linked to the EFTPS system when, in fact, it is entirely controlled by the scammer. The victim is also warned not to contact their tax preparer, an attorney or their local IRS off, police until after the tax payment is made. This can lead to further tax debt or economic loss.
IRS summer phone scams are not new, but this is a new twist. EFTPS is an automated system for paying federal taxes, using the internet or by phone using the EFTPS voice system. It is offered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and does not require the purchase of a prepaid debit card. Since EFTPS is an automated system, taxpayers won’t receive a call from the IRS, and should be wary of anyone that in fact calls them. Remember, only scammers would in fact be calling you asking you for money.
The IRS will never call to demand immediate payment over the phone, or ask you for a debit or credit card over the phone. They will never ask for any type of payment over the phone by check, money order to cashiers check either. They will not threaten to bring in the police or other law enforcement to question you about the amount you owe over the phone. If you think a scammer is calling in an irs summer phone scams after receiving such a call, call the Treasury Inspector General or TIGTA., or 1-800-366-4484. You don’t want to fall into one of these traps and end up with economic loss or a false tax debt.