Today, the Internal Revenue Service issued an alert to taxpayers and tax professionals to be on guard against a new phone scam involving bogus certified letters and the federal EFTPS*.

This scam is being reported across the country, so all taxpayers should be aware of the details.

In the latest twist, the scammer claims 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 scam artist then threatens arrest if a payment is not made through a prepaid debit card. The scammer also tells the victim that the card is linked to the EFTPS system when, in fact, it is entirely controlled by the scammer. The victim is also warned not to contact their tax preparer, an attorney or their local IRS office until after the tax 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."

DO NOT give ANY information to the caller. HANG UP IMMEDIATELY!

* EFTPS is an automated system for paying federal taxes electronically using the Internet or by phone using the EFTPS Voice Response System. EFTPS is offered free by the U.S. Department of Treasury and does not require the purchase of a prepaid debit card. Since EFTPS is an automated system, taxpayers won't receive a call from the IRS.

To learn more:

The IRS and its Security Summit partners — the state tax agencies and the private-sector tax industry — are conducting a campaign to raise awareness among taxpayers about increasing their security and becoming familiar with various tax-related scams. Learn more at Taxes. Security. Together Taxes. Security. Together.

Share this Alert:

Think your friends and family could benefit from this alert? Please help spread the word.