COLD SPRING -- A recent phone scam is circulating in Cold Spring and it's fooling people into thinking they're talking to a local person.

Cold Spring Police Chief Jason Blum says they've received several calls last month and this month about an IRS phone scam. Many of the calls are appearing as local numbers.

"They [the scammers] are using computerized dialers so they can make it look like a local phone number and we've had some come up as local businesses on the caller ID so people actually think they are talking to someone that they may or should know. Which is not the case, they're disguising their phone numbers which make it difficult for us to track anything down on our end."

Blum says the scam is like many others that claim you either owe money to the IRS or need to bail someone out of jail.

"The big one right now is you have back taxes from the IRS and local law enforcement have a warrant out for your arrest if you don't give us the money. So we're just trying to inform people about what's going on. A lot of these scams are happening and people are still spending money on them."

Many of the scammers tell people they need to mail gift cards out of state to cover their back taxes or bail someone out of jail. Police would like to remind you that the IRS or any law enforcement agency will never accept gift cards as payment.

The best way to protect yourself is to ask questions. If you suspect it's a scam call the police.

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