IRS Warns of New Nationwide Phone Scam

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KTAB/KRBC) - The IRS is warning people of an old phone scam with a new twist.

The IRS is reporting a new phone scam happening nationwide involving fake certified letters and the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).

In this scam, scammers claiming to be from the IRS call to demand immediate tax payment through a prepaid debit card.

The caller tells the victim about two certified letters supposedly sent to them that were returned as undeliverable. The scammer then threatens arrest if the payment is not made through the prepaid card. Victims are told this card is linked to the EFTPS, when in fact it is controlled completely by the scammer. Victims are then warned not to contact any officials until payment has been 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.”

The EFTPS is free and does not require the use of a prepaid card.  The system is automated and taxpayers will not receive a call from the IRS.

The IRS wants to remind everyone that they will never demand payment or threaten to bring in law enforcement for not paying, demand payment without giving the taxpayer opportunity to question or appeal the payment, or ask for credit or debit card information over the phone. Callers displaying these behaviors and claiming to be from the IRS are most likely scammers.

If you think you are being scammed hang up immediately and never give out any personal information. To report a possible scam, contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or the Federal Trade Commission.

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