The Internal Revenue Service has issued warnings on new tax schemes that scammers are using to steal your money. People have lost millions of dollars to con artists posing as the IRS. “People need to always stay vigilant even after tax season has ended. “We continue to urge people to watch out for new and evolving schemes this Summer,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. According to the IRS, here are three scams you need to know about to protect your assets.
Electronic Federal Tax Payment System Scam
This new scam has been linked to the (EFTPS) system. Con artists, pretending to be with the IRS, are demanding immediate tax payment over the phone. They tell the taxpayer that two certified letters mailed to them were returned as undeliverable. The scammer then threatens arrest if a payment is not made immediately by a specific debit card linked to the EFTPS system. You’re then warned not to talk to your tax preparer or local IRS office until after a payment is made. Don’t fall prey to this scam, remember: The IRS will NEVER ask for a credit or debit card over the phone.
Robo-Call Messages Scam
This is where scammers will leave a message saying if you don’t call back, you’ll be arrested. They will threaten you for an immediate payment with a specific prepaid debit card or wire transfer. Don’t fall prey to this scam, remember: The IRS will NEVER ask for a credit or debit card over the phone.
Private Debt Collection Scam
The IRS has started sending out letters to a small group of taxpayers whose overdue federal tax accounts have been assigned to one of four private-sector collection agencies. Scammers are aware of this… and are “posing” as private collection firms. The IRS-authorized firms will only be calling about a tax debt the person has been aware of for years. The IRS would have previously contacted taxpayers about their tax debt.
Language Barrier Scam Those who speak little English have been targeted recently by scammers saying they owe the IRS money and need to pay it promptly. Con artists often speak to the person in their native language, threatening them with deportation, arrest and license revocation. They then demand payment with a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. Remember, The IRS will NEVER ask for a credit or debit card over the phone.
The IRS and its authorized private collection agencies will usually mail a bill to those who owe money. All tax payments should only be made payable to the U.S. Treasury and never to third parties. There are only special circumstances when the IRS will call or visit a home or business. That’s when a taxpayer has an overdue tax bill or there’s a need to secure a delinquent tax return or employment tax payment. The IRS will also show up to tour a business as part of an audit or criminal investigation.
For more information, visit irs.gov or call your local tax advisor.