Beware An Old Tax Scam With Yet A New Twist

tax scam

Summertime, and the living is easy, or so it would be if the tax fraud criminals weren’t so enterprising.

That’s right, the bad guys (and/or gals – I’m aware that criminal behavior is an equal opportunity career) have come up with yet a new twist on one of their old tried and true scams. They know that American taxpayers have been warned not to take their calls seriously. They know that taxpayers are onto them and their scam and that the IRS sends out formal letters to those who owe taxes.

Well, those scammers learn quickly and they put their learning into effect while American taxpayers have their defenses down. The tax season is over. The Summer fun is in full swing and the scammers are hoping to catch fun and sun-loving taxpayers off-guard. So, they’ve begun calling telling taxpayers that the IRS sent them letters, which have been returned as “undeliverable.”

In an article accountingtoday.com published on June 15, it stated that, “The Internal Revenue Service issued a warning … cautioning taxpayers and tax professionals about a new scam revolving around the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, in which criminals are calling innocent taxpayers demanding they make an immediate tax payment through a prepaid debit card.”

Tweaking The Old To Make It New

That’s the old part, now for the new. According to the article, “The IRS has been hearing reports about the scam around the country. It has been going on for a while, but in a new twist, the fraudster claims to be an IRS employee and tells the victim about two certified letters that have supposedly been sent through the mail but returned as undeliverable. The criminal threatens the taxpayer with arrest if a payment isn’t made right away via prepaid debit card. The fraudster informs the victim the card is linked to the EFTPS system when it actually is completely controlled by the fraudster.” Now, here’s the real kicker. “The scammer warns the taxpayer not to contact their tax preparer, an attorney or their local IRS office until after making the payment.”

Keep IRS Business Practices In Mind Year Round

Remember that you need to keep the following message in mind all year long, not just during the time when everyone is thinking about taxes. The IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was quoted in the accountingtoday.com article as saying, “Just because tax season is over, scams and schemes do not take the Summer off. People should stay vigilant against IRS impersonation.”

It is important to stay ahead of the criminals who prey on the fears of others. I’ll keep posting these IRS warnings as I become aware of them. If you hear of any other scams, please keep me posted and definitely let the IRS know as soon as possible. You can find details of this and all the other scams posted at https://www.irs.gov/uac/tax-scams-consumer-alerts