The Internal Revenue Service recently warned Americans that, even though the tax filing season is over, criminals are still running tax-related scams.
One such scam is the EFTPS scam. A criminal con artist claims to be with the IRS, calls the targeted victim, and demands immediate tax payment, saying the two certified letters mailed to the taxpayer were returned as undeliverable. The scammer threatens the victim with arrest if payment is not made immediately by a specific prepaid debit card. The scammer claims the debit card is tied to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), but that is a lie because the payment system is, in fact, controlled by the criminal.
Another scam to watch for is a "Robo-call" message scam. Criminals leave an automated, urgent message telling targeted victims to call back or face arrest. Scammers tell those who do call back to make an immediate payment.
The IRS warns taxpayers that it does not leave such messages. And, although it does use certain private-sector collection agencies, it only uses them after it has made direct contact with the taxpayer about a long-standing debt.
Finally, several phone and phishing email scams target people with limited English proficiency. Scammers often threaten victims in their native language and demand a payment. "IRS Cautions Taxpayers to Watch for Summertime Scams," www.irs.gov (Jun. 26, 2017).