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Lancaster Police warn: Beware of IRS scam

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Lancaster Police are warning of an IRS phone scam that uses "spoofing technology" and intimidation to convince victims of their authenticity.

Lancaster Police say one resident has already reported losing thousands-of-dollars after being convinced by scammers of owing unpaid taxes and fines.

Captain William Karn says potential victims receive a call from what appears to be the Internal Revenue Service, when in fact the scammers are using "spoofing technology" to manipulate the caller ID on your phone.   

Karn says the caller then claims the victims owe unpaid taxes and fines, and threatens them with arrest if the money is not paid immediately.

"Usually they scare these people so much, a person will often be so concerned, that they will follow their instructions to go to a retail store, purchase what they call these green-dot cards,' says Karn, adding "they're basically like a reloadable debit card. So they will pay a certain amount of money, get this card. The scammer then asks for the number off of the card.  Once the scammer has that number, they can immediately cash that card in."

Karn adds that it's difficult to track the scammer because of the technology used and they are often calling from out of state.