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The Artesia Police Department is warning citizens to be aware of an IRS scam reported in the community.

The scam begins in the traditional way — with a caller, claiming to be from the IRS, informs the potential victim they owe an amount of money and must remit payment in order to avoid arrest.

The APD says this particular scam is a bit more sophisticated in that the caller occasionally references the name and telephone number of a recently-deceased relative and attempted to use that information to legitimize the scam.

Artesians are reminded the IRS most commonly communicate by mail, not telephone. If a resident receives a call without having first received likely multiple notices from the IRS by mail, that is a good indication the call is a scam.

The IRS also notes it will never call to demand immediate payment using a method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card, or wire transfer; demand an individual pay a tax debt without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount; or threaten to bring in local police, immigration officers, or other law enforcement to arrest an individual for not paying. The IRS also cannot revoke a driver’s license, business license, or immigration status.

For more complete information on the IRS’ communication methods, visit irs.gov.

“Citizens should please be careful about who they give money to,” said APD Cmdr. Lindell Smith. “There are people in the world that don’t care how they rip others off.”