IRS cautions taxpayers to watch for summertime scams - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

IRS cautions taxpayers to watch for summertime scams

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a warning that tax-related scams continue across the nation even though the tax filing season has ended for most taxpayers. 

EFTPS Scam

A new scam linked to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) has been reported nationwide. In this ruse, con artists call to demand immediate tax payment. The caller claims to be from the IRS and says that two certified letters mailed to the taxpayer were returned a undeliverable. The caller then threatens arrest if a payment is not made immediately via a specific prepaid debit card. The scammer warns the victim not to talk to their tax preparer, attorney, or the local IRS office until after the payment is made. 

"Robo-call" Mesages

The IRS doe not call and leave prerecorded, urgent messages asking for a call back. In this tactic, scammers tell victims that if they do not call back, a warrant will be issued for their arrest. Those who do not respond are told they must make immediate payment either by a specific prepaid debit card or by wire transfer. 

Private Debt Collection Scams

The IRS recently began sending letters to a relatively small group of taxpayers whose overdue federal tax accounts are being assigned to one of four private-sector collection agencies. Taxpayers should be on the lookout for scammers posing as private collection firms. The IRS-authorized firms will only be calling about a tax debt the person has had- and has been aware of- for years. The IRS would have previously contacted taxpayers about their debt. 

Scams Targeting People with Limited English Proficiency 

Taxpayers with limited English proficiency have been recent targets of phone scams and email phishing schemes that continue to occur across the country. Con artists often approach victims in their native language, threaten them with deportation, police arrest, and license revocation among other things. They tell the victims they owe the IRS money and must pay it promptly through a prepaid debit card, gift card, or wire transfer. They may also leave 'urgent' callback requests through phone 'robo-calls' or via phishing email. 

How to know it's really the IRS calling or knocking

The IRS initiates most contact through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service. However, there are special circumstances 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
  • 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. Fore more information, you can click here

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