Warning About New Taxpayer Scam

We would like to remind our clients to remain vigilant when they receive calls or emails regarding personal financial matters. Those seeking to inflict harm have increased the frequency and urgency around their attacks. Typically the initial outreach is via phone or email and the serious and urgent tone of the message encourages the recipient to comply and act quickly.

Just recently, on June 15th, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a warning about a new telephone scam targeting taxpayers.  The official IRS press release can be found HERE.

The new scam involves a fraudster calling a taxpayer and claiming to be from the IRS.  The taxpayer is informed s/he has been sent multiple certified letters that have been returned as undeliverable.  The taxpayer is warned s/he is facing arrest and the only remedy is to make a payment through a prepaid debit card that is allegedly linked to the EFTPS system used for tax payments by the IRS.  The taxpayer is also warned not to contact a tax preparer or attorney until after making the payment.

In the heat of the moment, especially with the threat of arrest, you can see how someone could be prompted to provide the information needed to correct the situation.  However, there are several clear signs this is a fraudulent call.

  • Your first contact with the IRS about an issue will NEVER be a phone call (or an email)
  • The IRS will NEVER request a prepaid debit card or wire transfer as a payment method
  • The IRS will NEVER threaten immediate arrest over an outstanding issue
  • The IRS will NEVER ask for credit card or debit card numbers over the phone
  • The IRS will NEVER state you must make a payment before speaking with your tax preparer or attorney

If you receive a call like this, you should hang up immediately.  You should report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484 or use the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page.

If The Colony Group prepares your taxes, please contact us so we can assist. If you work with a tax preparer or think you may owe tax, you can call the IRS at 800-829-1040 or you can check your tax account information online.