The U.S. Treasury Department’s Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), which is used by more than 8 million taxpayers each year, allows taxpayers to pay their federal taxes online or by phone. Until recently, this seemed to be a convenient and safe method to pay taxes. However, an e-mail scam has emerged and has left many taxpayers victims of fraud and identity theft.
The scam involves e-mails that are sent from a fictitious group called the “IRS Antifraud Commission.” The e-mail states that someone has enrolled the taxpayer’s credit card in EFTPS and has tried to pay taxes with it. The e-mail also states that their bank account has been involved in several fraud attempts, money was lost and remaining funds are blocked. Recipients of this e-mail are asked to click on a link to help recover the funds. The link takes the recipient to a page requesting detailed personal and financial information. This is where perpetrators gain access to credit card and bank account data.
What To Do If You Think You Are Being Scammed
A major warning sign to a scam is that it appears to be from the IRS but is filled with grammatical errors and typos.
The IRS has established an electronic mailbox for taxpayers to send information about suspicious e-mails they receive that claim to come from the IRS. Taxpayers are encouraged to send copies of possibly fraudulent e-mails involving abuse of the IRS name and logo to the IRS for investigation. The IRS can use the information, URLs, and links in the false e-mails to trace the hosting websites and alert authorities to help shut down these fraudulent sites.
For instructions on how to properly submit suspicious e-mails to the IRS, visit their website at www.irs.gov. Enter the term “phishing” in the search box in the upper right corner and open the article entitled “The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.” The article contains instructions for you to follow.
Henssler Financial’s Tax & Accounting Division can assist you with further information regarding this issue, as well as any other tax related issues. Please contact us at 770-429-9166 or [email protected].