The IRS has issued warnings that although tax season has ended for most tax payers, IRX tax scams are still a threat. People should remain vigilant and aware of new and emerging schemes designed to steal taxpayer’s details and money.
The EFTPS Scam
A new scam has emerged which is linked to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). The scam involves fraudsters calling taxpayers and demanding an immediate tax payment. The caller claims to be from the IRS and says that two certified letters mailed to the taxpayer were returned as undeliverable. The scammer then threatens arrest if a specific prepaid debit card does not make a payment immediately. Victims are told that the debit card is linked to the EFTPS when, in reality, it is controlled entirely by the scammer. Victims are warned not to talk to their tax preparer, attorney or the local IRS office until after the payment is made.
The IRS never leaves a pre-recorded message, urgent messages will ask for a call back.
Private Debt Collection Scams
The IRS has recently begun to send out letters to a small percentage of taxpayers whose overdue federal tax accounts are being assigned to one of four private sector collection agencies:
P.O. Box 2217
Waterloo, IA 50704
P.O. Box 307
Fairport, NY 14450-0307
P.O. Box 9045
Pleasanton CA 94566-9045
PO Box 500
Horseheads, NY 14845
Taxpayers should be aware of scammers posing as private collection firms.
People with limited English Proficiency
Scammers are known to target people with limited English Proficiency. Victims are approached in their native language and threated with deportation, police arrest and license revocation among other things. They are then told that they owe the IRS money and must pay it promptly through a preloaded debit card, gift card or wire transfer. An “urgent” callback requests is often left through phone “robo-calls” or via a phishing email.
How to know it’s really the IRS
The IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service. However, there are special circumstances in which the IRS will call or come to a home or business, such as:
· When a taxpayer has an overdue tax bill,
· To secure a delinquent tax return or a delinquent employment tax payment, or,
· To tour a business as part of an audit or during criminal investigations.
Even then, taxpayers will generally first receive several letters (called “notices”) from the IRS in the mail.