Trending across the country, a phone scam in which callers pretend to be IRS employees and demand payments, personal details, and financial information is increasingly being reported in Santa Barbara County, according to District Attorney Joyce Dudley. On Thursday, Dudley warned area residents not to fall victim to the threats.

Iterations of the scam include telling residents they owe back taxes and must pay up or get arrested, sued, or deported and telling residents they are due tax refunds but must first provide sensitive personal and financial information. The scammers have been known to call repeatedly, using different tactics.

Dudley stated that the IRS conducts its outreach via mail and never requests numbers for credit cards, debit cards, or prepaid cards over the phone. Recipients of suspicious calls are encouraged to call the IRS at (800) 829-1040and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at (800) 366-4484.


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