Liberty Tax Service warns of IRS phone scams

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Tax Day has come and gone, but tax-related scams continue, according to the IRS. Liberty Tax Service wants to make taxpayers aware of the scams so that they don’t fall victim to criminals who have collected millions of dollars.

Some of the scams the IRS has identified include:

Electronic Federal Tax Payment System scam — Callers claim to be from the IRS. They allege that two certified letters have been mailed to the taxpayer but were returned as undeliverable. They threaten arrest if payment is not made immediately using a specific prepaid debit card. The callers also allege that the card is linked to the EFTPS and warn victims not to talk with their tax preparer, attorney or local IRS office until after payment is made.

Robocall message — Scammers call and tell victims they must call back or a warrant will be issued for their arrest. Taxpayers who respond are told they must make immediate payment using a specific prepaid debit card or by wire transfer.

Private debt collection scam — Scammers posing as private collection firms hired by the IRS call demanding payment. It’s true that the IRS has hired four private-sector collection agencies (CBE, ConServe, Peformant and Pioneer) to handle overdue federal tax accounts, but those firms are calling about debt the taxpayer has had — and has been aware of — for years.

Scams targeting people with limited English proficiency — Scammers approach victims in their native language and tell them they owe the IRS money and must pay with a preloaded debit card, gift card or wire transfer. They threaten deportation, police arrest or license revocation if payment is not made.

The IRS says taxpayers should know that the agency will never take any of the following steps:

• Demand immediate payment using a specific payment method;

• Threaten to immediately bring in police or other law enforcement for failure to pay;

• Demand that taxes be paid without giving the taxpayer an opportunity or appeal or question the amount owed;

• Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

Taxpayers who receive such calls should hang up immediately.

Liberty Tax Service encourages taxpayers to call or visit the Liberty Tax Service office at 3525-B Airport Blvd. and 1101-B Ward Blvd. if they have questions about tax-related phone calls or emails or about taxes they may owe.