Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a consumer alert following a recent uptick in local reports of telephone scammers posing as officials from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The scams often target seniors, students, and first-generation Americans.

“With tax season around the corner, hardworking New Yorkers cannot afford to lose money to scam artists,” said Schneiderman. “The tactics used by these fraudsters are reprehensible, but following a few basic tips can help protect you and your wallet.”

In this particular scam, the caller often claims to be an agent or police officer from the IRS or Attorney General’s Office calling about a past due tax balance that is owed. The caller will tell the victim that unless the debt is paid immediately, a team of officers will come to the victim’s home that day to arrest the victim. The scammer will also request that the “IRS Tax Warrant” be paid with a Green Dot Card Money Card or Western Union MoneyGram.

Scammers often use caller ID spoofing so that the victim’s caller ID box says “Internal Revenue Service” or displays the phone number of the Internal Revenue Service. Sometimes scammers will also ask victims for personal information such as a Social Security number in order to commit identity theft.

Anyone who receives a call they believe is a tax scam should report instances of fraud to the Attorney General’s office by calling 1-800-771-7755 or by going to www.ag.ny.gov to file a complaint.