IRS warns of phone scam

The Paso Robles Police Department has issued a warning that a phone scam is taking place in which con artists pretend to be Internal Revenue Service agents.

Police cited an IRS alert saying that scam artists will call demanding money or saying “you have a refund due” while trying to trick people into sharing private information.

“These con artists can sound convincing when they call,” the department said.

Some use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers and may leave an “urgent” callback request, IRS officials said.

“These telephone scams are being seen in every part of the country, and we urge people not to be deceived by these threatening phone calls,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a statement.

The IRS notes that it will mail a notice before calling someone about taxes owed. The agency also will never demand that a person pay taxes without giving someone the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed or require a specific method of payment, such as a prepaid debit card.