Public safety — The sophisticated scammers are telling people they owe money to the IRS or the state and claims they must pay immediately

The Oregon Attorney General is warning residents of a sophisticated phone scam that has hit the state this tax season.

The scammers are calling people and telling them they owe money to the IRS or Oregon Department of Revenue. Then the victims are told to pay immediately with a temporary debit card or wire transfer.

If they refuse, they’re threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license.

Kristina Edmunson, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, said once you hang up, another scammer, also claiming to be from the government, will call to reiterate the same threats.

“The Oregon Department of Revenue and the IRS would never ask you to pay on a prepaid credit card and they would never ask you to wire money,” she said.

Edmunson says scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of your Social Security number and spoof the IRS or Department of Revenue toll-free number on caller ID.

They also can send bogus emails supporting their calls. Calling the agency that’s named can help verify if you’ve received an illegal call.

For more information or to report a suspected scam, call the Oregon Department of Revenue at 1-800-356-4222 or the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.

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