Police are warning of two different phone scams, one involving "grandparents" and the other the IRS.
State Police are currently investigating an often-used "Grandparent Scam" incident that involved $1,225 being sent to the Dominican Republic for bail using an out-of-country phone number.
According to police, the scam involves someone calling older or elderly people and pretending to be a grandchild involved in some sort of criminal issue or motor vehicle accident and asking for bail money or money for car repairs.
The caller starts out by saying something like "Grandma?" or "Grandpa?" which usually elicits a response using the grandchild's name.
With that, police said, the caller pretends to be that grandchild, often asking that the "grandparent" not tell the "grandchild's" parents-just send the bail or repair money, which in reality, is going to a scammer outside the United States.
State Police warn anyone receiving such a call to ask questions an imposter wouldn't know, such as the date of their mother's birth or the city they were born in.
Any calls like this should be reported to police.
The second scam involves calls from the Internal Revenue Service, warning of a "final notice" for unpaid taxes and threatening a lawsuit if they're not paid immediately through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer.
The scammers often provide a call-back number and badge numbers, the IRS said.
They may even be able to provide the last four digits of an individual's social security number and can also spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear it's really the IRS calling.
"This scam has hit taxpayers in nearly every state in the country," said IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel.
"Rest assured, we do not and will not ask for credit card numbers over the phone, nor request pre-paid debit card or wire transfers.
"If someone unexpectedly calls claiming to be from the IRS and threatens police action if you don't pay immediately, that is a sign it really isn't the IRS."
Mr. Werfel added that any first contact on a tax issue is likely to come through the mail.
Anyone receiving a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS should:
--If they know or think they may owe taxes, call the IRS at 1-(800) 829-1040 for help with the payment issue.
--If they know they don't, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-(800) 366-4484.
They can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at Ftccomplaintassistant.gov.
Choose "Other," then "Imposter Scam," and include the words "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes.