BANGOR, Maine — After seeing a dramatic spike in the efforts of scammers claiming to represent the IRS, the Maine Attorney General’s Office again is warning people not to be fooled into sending money.

“The AG’s Office has heard from about 75 people today who reported receiving a call like this,” Tim Feeley, spokesman for the Attorney General’s office, said in an email Friday. He said that’s a dramatic increase in activity compared to what the office has heard of in earlier weeks of the tax season.

Typically, the caller claims to represent the IRS and says that the target of the call owes taxes. Then they threaten to arrest or deport the recipient of the call, revoke his or her license, or even shut down his or her business if the taxes aren’t paid immediately. The scammer may reveal your social security number, or a portion of it, Feeley said, but that doesn’t mean they’re from the IRS.

The scammer then instructs the target to put money on a prepaid debit card and to read them the number, which is something no government agency would demand.

“If they ask for an immediate payment of any kind — hang up, it’s a scam,” Feeley said.

The AG also saw a spike in scamming efforts in December, and issued a statement outlining the typical tactics used by these groups. Feeley recirculated those warnings again in the wake of the recent complaints.

To report IRS imposters, contact the treasury inspector general for tax administration at 800-366-4484 and the Federal Trade Commission at

If you think you might owe past federal taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 or visit

Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.