Recently a new phone scam has emerged; beware of a new scam where fraudsters call to demand an immediate tax payment through a prepaid debit card.
The caller claims to be from the IRS and tells the victim about two certified letters sent to the taxpayer but returned to IRS 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 Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) 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 office until after the tax payment is made.
“This is a new twist to an old scam,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Just because tax season is over, scams and schemes do not take the summer off. People should stay vigilant against IRS impersonation scams. People should remember that the first contact they receive from IRS will not be through a random, threatening phone call.”
So to help keep yourself and your family safe here are some tips to help avoid another Scam.
1. The IRS will never call to demand immediate payment using a gift card, wire transfer, or pre-paid debit card.
2. The IRS will not ask for a credit or debit card over the phone.
3. All tax payment will be made payable to the U.S. Treasury and checks will never be made to third parties.
4. The IRS will not threaten to immediately bring in law enforcement to have the taxpayer arrested for not paying.
5. The IRS will not demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer an opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
6. The IRS does not use email, text messages or social media to discuss personal tax issues, such as those involving bills or refunds.
7. If you do owe taxes to the IRS, the IRS will first mail a bill to a taxpayer that owes taxes.
If you get a phone call like this contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to report the call by calling 800-366-4484. You can also report it on the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page. Also report it to the Federal Trade Commission by using the FTC Complaint Assistant and add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
For more information on how to pay the IRS if you do owe them money, read this previous blog.