Vision Payroll

August 27, 2010

Question of the Week: Is There a Problem with My EFTPS Payment?

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — Vision @ 12:36 pm
Question of the Week
Question of the Week
This week’s question comes from Ben, a business owner. We received an e-mail from EFTPS stating that my federal tax payment had been rejected. Is there a problem with my EFTPS payment? Answer: On August 20, 2010, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a Problem Alert regarding this EFTPS scam.

Text of IRS Problem Alert

There is a fraud risk you need to be aware of. It is related to the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).

The IRS recently became aware of a fraudulent scheme targeting EFTPS users, the scheme uses an e-mail that claims your tax payment was rejected and directs you to a website for additional information. The website contains malware that will attempt to infect your computer.

If you receive a message claiming to be from the IRS or EFTPS, please:

  1. Do not reply to the sender, access links on the site or submit any information to them.
  2. Forward the message immediately to us at
  3. How to report and identify phishing, e-mail scams and bogus IRS websites.
  4. If you receive a suspicious e-mail or discover a website posing as the IRS, please forward the e-mail or URL information to the IRS at
  5. EFTPS is a tax payment system provided free by the US Department of Treasury. Pay federal taxes electronically via the Internet or phone 24/7. Visit EFTPS to enroll.

IRS and EFTPS Do NOT Send Unsolicited E-mails or Request Personal Information

Neither the IRS nor EFTPS sends unsolicited e-mails nor do they request personal or financial information in e-mails.

Stay Vigilant Against Attacks Aimed at Stealing Your Personal Information

Although no system is foolproof in preventing identity theft, Vision Payroll recommends vigilance in dealing with personal information, combined with a service such as LifeLock® to help detect certain types of identity theft.

August 5, 2009

Tip of the Week: Watch for Identity Theft Scams Spoofing IRS Name, Logo, or Web Site

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in IR-2009-071 reminded consumers to be aware of identity theft scams that spoof the IRS name, logo, or Web site. The scammers may use e-mail, fax, or telephone for their schemes. The goal is obtaining personal or financial information such name, address, birth date, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, social security numbers (SSNs), PINs, and passwords.

Some of the more common scams revolve around the following:

  • Making Work Pay Refund
  • Inherited Funds/Lottery Winnings/Cash Consignment
  • Form W-8BEN
  • Refund Scam

The IRS recommends knowing the following warning signs of a scam:

  • Requests detailed or an unusual amount of personal and/or financial information, such as name, SSN, bank or credit card account numbers or security-related information, such as mother’s maiden name, either in the e-mail itself or on another site to which a link in the e-mail sends the recipient.
  • Dangles bait to get the recipient to respond to the e-mail, such as mentioning a tax refund or offering to pay the recipient to participate in an IRS survey.
  • Threatens a consequence for not responding to the e-mail, such as additional taxes or blocking access to the recipient’s funds.
  • Gets the IRS or other federal agency names wrong.
  • Uses incorrect grammar or odd phrasing (many of the e-mail scams originate overseas and are written by non-native English speakers).
  • Uses a really long address in any link contained in the e-mail message or one that does not start with the actual IRS Web site address ( To see the actual link address, or url, move the mouse over the link included in the text of the e-mail.

If you are suspicious of any item you receive purporting to be from the IRS, remember that the IRS will never ask for personal or financial information in an e-mail and it does not send unsolicited e-mails. Never click on links or open attachments in such e-mails and contact the IRS at (800) 829-1040 if you receive one.

January 14, 2009

Tip of the Week: Phishing Scams Use IRS Name and Logo in E-Mails

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — Vision @ 11:29 am

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is warning taxpayers to be on the lookout for phony e-mails that appear to be from IRS employees. The e-mails attempt to get personal information such as social security numbers, account numbers, and passwords that may be used in identity theft or to gain access to financial accounts.

The IRS never sends unsolicited e-mails nor does it request personal or financial information in e-mails. The IRS has set up a special e-mail address to forward such e-mails using instructions provided by the IRS. The IRS recommends you delete such messages after you have forwarded them.

Although no system is foolproof in preventing identity theft, Vision Payroll recommends vigilance in dealing with personal information, combined with a service such as LifeLock® to help detect certain types of identity theft.

October 1, 2008

Tip of the Week: Start Planning Now to Comply with Identity Theft Regulation

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts recently promulgated a new regulation, 201 CMR 17.00, titled Standards for The Protection of Personal Information of Residents of the Commonwealth.  The purpose of the regulation is to implement “the provisions of M.G.L. c. 93H relative to the standards to be met by persons who own, license, store or maintain personal information about a resident of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.” Personal information is defined as:



[A] Massachusetts resident’s first name and last name or first initial and last name in combination with any one or more of the following data elements that relate to such resident: (a) Social Security number; (b) driver’s license number or state-issued identification card number; or (c) financial account number, or credit or debit card number, with or without any required security code, access code, personal identification number or password, that would permit access to a resident’s financial account; provided, however, that “Personal information” shall not include information that is lawfully obtained from publicly available information, or from federal, state or local government records lawfully made available to the general public.



Since all employers should normally store “personal information” about each employee, apparently all employers who employ a resident of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will be required to comply with the regulations. Governor Deval Patrick has also issued a related Executive Order 504 requiring certification of compliance with the order by all state contractors. There are significant procedures that must be implemented and substantial fines for non-compliance. Vision Payroll will be communicating its compliance with the new regulations to all affected clients before 2009. We strongly suggest that you contact your attorney as soon as possible to discuss implementation of the new provisions.

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