Tax Scammers Never Sleep: IRS Names 4 Summer Scams to Avoid
Life + Money

Tax Scammers Never Sleep: IRS Names 4 Summer Scams to Avoid


Tax season may be over, but that doesn’t mean that crooks are done impersonating the IRS to try to steal your identity — and your cash.

The IRS issued a warning this week to consumers about four scams making the rounds this summer:

* Private debt collection scams. The IRS has recently begun working with four private debt collectors to collect long-standing overdue taxes. However, scammers are now impersonating private debt collectors and harassing taxpayers for cash.

Related: The Best and Worst States for Taxes in 2017

* EFTPS scam. In this new scam, a con artist calls a taxpayer demanding payment via a specific prepaid debit card linked to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System. In reality the debit card belongs to the scammer, who makes off with the money before the taxpayer is able to confirm the arrangement with the IRS or an attorney.

* Robo-calls. In this scam, thieves leave a prerecorded message demanding immediate payment and threatening that the taxpayer will be arrested if he doesn’t return the call. The IRS never leaves prerecorded messages for taxpayers.

* Scams targeting limited-English speakers. Thieves speaking the native language of taxpayers with limited English-proficiency are using robo-calls or other ways to demand payments and threaten deportation or problems with the police.

“We continue to urge people to watch out for new and evolving schemes this summer,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a statement. “Many of these are variations on a theme, involving fictitious tax bills and demands to pay by purchasing and transferring information involving a gift card or iTunes card.”