A new version of the long running scam of people receiving telephone calls from scammers posing as IRS representatives demanding payments for overdue taxes is being reported by the IRS. In this new version of the scam, the intended victim is told by the scammer that two certified letters sent by the IRS to the intended victim were returned as undeliverable and that payment must be made immediately over the phone through providing the numbers from a prepaid debit card. The phony IRS agent also tells the potential victim that the purchase of the prepaid debit card is linked to the IRS’ Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).
The EFTPS is a real system used by the IRS for payment of income taxes electronically over the Internet or by phone, but it does not require the use of prepaid debit cards and the systems are not linked.
Another major indication that this is a scam is that the caller also tells the intended victim not to contact their lawyer, tax preparer or their local IRS office until after the payment has been made.
By using a technique called “spoofing” a scammer scan trick your Caller ID into making it appear that the call is originating from the IRS. Even though Congress foolishly recently authorized private collection agencies to contact taxpayers by phone in regard to overdue taxes, neither the IRS nor any of these private collection agencies will ever demand immediate payment over the phone by credit cards, prepaid debit cards, iTunes cards or wire transfers.
If you receive such a call you should hang up immediately. If you think you owe money to the IRS, you should contact the IRS directly to deal with this matter.