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EFTPS (Electronic Tax Payment) Scam

The Federal Government of the United States of America isn’t going to send you an email saying your tax payment failed. The latest email scam has “EFTPS TAX PAYMENT” in the title. It’s trying to fool you into making an EFTPS payment to a fake address. The address looks legit, but it isn’t. It’s a redirected URL that will take you to a scam site. It all looks legitimate, but it isn’t. As I said, The EFTPS system will NOT send you an email asking for money.

Don’t click on any link sent to you an in email that solicits payments. Let me repeat: DON’T CLICK ANY LINKS IN EMAILS THAT ASK FOR PAYMENTS. That is a steadfast rule you should follow at all times for every communication sent to you. If you think you may, in fact, owe a company, store, etc. a payment, start up another tab or window in your web browser and type in the name of the company in the search bar. Find the official site URL. Get to the site and go into your account. NEVER use the link from any email sent to you that asks for payments, or for that matter, password changes (If you’ve requested a password change from a site, then OK, but this is the only exception).

I received this “EFTPS” email about 6 times today, all in the same account. It listed different federal tax payment ID numbers, of course, none of which were even close to my Social Security Number. If you receive this email, put the sender in your “Spam” filter and delete the email immediately. THE EFTPS EMAIL IS A SCAM. Do NOT click the link.

Your Federal Tax Payment ID: 010375185 has been rejected.

Return Reason Code R21 – The identification number used in the Company Identification Field is not valid.

Please, check the information and refer to Code R21 to get details about your company payment in transaction contacts section:

In other way forward information to your accountant adviser.
The Electronic Federal Tax Payment System
PLEASE NOTE: Your tax payment is due regardless of EFTPS online
availability. In case of an emergency, you can always make your tax
payment by calling the EFTPS.

Snopes.com, a scam awareness site, doesn’t have anything on “R21” yet, but here is a list of all the entries on the site that mention “Federal Tax” http://search.atomz.com/search/?sp-q=federal+tax&x=13&y=11&sp-a=00062d45-sp00000000&sp-advanced=1&sp-p=all&sp-w-control=1&sp-w=alike&sp-date-range=-1&sp-x=any&sp-c=100&sp-m=1&sp-s=0

Snopes does have an entry for a similar EFTPS email, one that says the EFTPS payment was rejected: http://www.snopes.com/fraud/phishing/irsrefund.asp

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Dustin 7 October 2010, 8:50 am

    I think we just got hit by it too… our CFO sent out an email about it.

  • Paul 7 October 2010, 11:04 am

    Got 6 emails like this today

  • Dave 7 October 2010, 6:59 pm

    Thanks a lot man, got 5 emails today and was almost pulled in. I even entered the EFTPS into google and it gave me the website root address in the email. Guess it was a decoy for some other address in the HTML code.

    • PurpleCar 7 October 2010, 8:11 pm

      Cool, glad you avoided the scam, Dave.

      A website re-direct is easy to do. You were smart to put the link into Google
      instead of clicking on it. That’s a nice trick. It won’t always work as well as
      it did for you today but it is worth a try. Good work.

      -Christine Cavalier

  • JoyKatl 12 October 2010, 10:39 am

    Thanks, I have gotten at least 30 of these emails. Is there any way to make it stop>?

    • PurpleCar 12 October 2010, 4:12 pm


      Unfortunately there is not much you can do to make it stop. I suggest that you
      mark each one as “Spam” and also contact your internet service provider. They
      may be able to block them at the server.

      Good luck.

      -PurpleCar Christine Cavalier

  • Thog 12 October 2010, 1:07 pm

    Got the same e-mail,seems to be a phishing e-mail, forwarded it the IRS phishing site. If you move the your mouse over the link(BUT do NOT click) you can see the address it will send you to.
    You could treat as spam, it might slow it down.

    • PurpleCar 12 October 2010, 4:13 pm

      It’s definitely a phishing email. If you type in EFTPS into Google, you’ll see
      the official .gov sites as well as a lot of pages talking about this particular
      phishing scam. Good idea to forward it to the IRS site. They should really have
      the top hit in search on this.


  • Browny2x 9 November 2010, 3:41 pm

    Hello, just read this – got the e-mail yesterday – but unfortunately I followed the link but didn’t make any payment… what are the dangers of me have done this?
    now I’m really worried

    • PurpleCar 9 November 2010, 3:53 pm

      Did you fill out any information? Address and phone number is OK, anyone can get
      those, so nothing really to worry about there if you gave over that info. But
      if you put in any bank codes or social security numbers, contact your local
      police department immediately and contact your bank and credit card issuers.

      If you only clicked on the link, no harm done. Erase the “cookies” that are in
      your browser and scan your computer for viruses using a good anti-virus software
      program; after that you should be good to go. Clicking on the link usually
      doesn’t do all that much damage, but it’s best to erase the cookies and scan for
      viruses anyway on a regular basis.

      Don’t worry! I’m sure, if you didn’t fill out any sensitive info, that you
      should be OK.

      -Christine Cavalier

  • cat0627 8 November 2011, 12:21 pm

    Hello, Thank you for posting  this!!!! I have been receiving these for a couple of months.  At first I thought the IRS wouldn’t be sending  me e-mails just as you stated. Then as I kept receiving them I started thinking maybe this is real. So today I checked it out and found this site:-) So again thank you.

    • PurpleCar 8 November 2011, 8:58 pm

      Good for you, Cat, for looking it up on the Web first. Always look! There will usually be some sort of spam report.
      If you can’t find anything right away, add the term “spam” or “scam” onto your search string, and then search only BLOGS in Google (you can use the advanced features or use the pull-down menu under “More” in the top left corner). Bloggers out there post these kind of phishing scams all the time, and someone somewhere will be talking about it.
      Good luck and stay safe!

      P.S. Please teach at least one person the “search for scam posts” lesson. Thanks!