IRS warns of new phone scam involving certified letters

WASHINGTON, D.C. - There is a new scam where fraudsters are demanding immediate payment through prepaid debit cards, the IRS said.

The Internal Revenue Service is asking you to beware of a new scam linked to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), where fraudsters call to demand an immediate tax payment through a prepaid debit card, according to a press release.

This scam is being reported all across the country.

The release said the scammer is claiming to be from the IRS and tells the victim about two certified letters purportedly sent to the taxpayer in the mail but returned as undeliverable. The scammer threatens arrest if a payment is not made through a prepaid debit card and that the card is linked to the EFTPS system. The victim is also warned not to contact their tax preparer, an attorney or their local IRS office until the payment is 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 IRS does not use email, text messages or social media to discuss personal tax issues, such as those involving bills or refunds. For more information, visit the “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” page on Additional information about tax scams is available on IRS social media sites, including YouTube videos.

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