The Internal Revenue Service issued a warning Thursday cautioning taxpayers and tax professionals about a new scam revolving around the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, in which criminals are calling innocent taxpayers demanding they make an immediate tax payment through a prepaid debit card.

The IRS has been hearing reports about the scam around the country. It has been going on for a while, but in a new twist, the fraudster claims to be an IRS employee and tells the victim about two certified letters that have supposedly been sent through the mail but returned as undeliverable. The criminal threatens the taxpayer with arrest if a payment isn’t made right away via prepaid debit card. The fraudster informs the victim the card is linked to the EFTPS system when it actually is completely controlled by the fraudster. The scammer warns the taxpayer not to contact their tax preparer, an attorney or their local IRS office until after making the payment.

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