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Indiana State Police are warning residents across the state that scams especially the ever popular ones involving the Internal Revenue Service and credit card companies are becoming prevalent during the holiday season

The IRS scam alleges a potential victim owes back taxes. People receiving IRS scam calls are threatened with immediate arrest if funds are not wired as directed.

As with past warnings, state police say, Hoosiers should be suspect of any person calling who claims to be with the IRS and is trying to coerce payment of delinquent taxes over the phone.

Police say the public should never give out personal information such as bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, birth dates or credit card numbers to potential scam callers.

The bank credit card scam making the holiday rounds alleges a potential victim’s credit card has been suspended. Authorities say scammers ask for the credit card number to be keystroked over the phone to reactivate the card.

Police say the typical bank scam usually starts with a phone call to your home or cellphone number with a computerized voice stating your credit card has been suspended.  The computer voice will reference a major issuer of credit cards and instruct you to keystroke your credit card number to have the card reactivated.

If you follow this instruction, state police warn, you end up giving the scammer your credit card number and are now susceptible to future fraudulent charges.

Police say members of the public should never key in a credit card number based on a computerized voice or unsolicited phone call.  And, they add, if the call is from a live person making similar claims of fraudulent activity on your credit card, simply tell them you will call back using the 800 customer service phone number that is listed on the backside of your credit card.

State Police say it’s the most secure way to determine if a call was legitimate.

Police say it is safe to assume any call claiming legal action is pending or asking for a credit card number is a ruse trying to get a victim to part with large sums of money.

State Police say unfortunately these scams nearly always trace back to a foreign country and it is virtually impossible to successfully prosecute the people responsible for these criminal acts.

State police say the best advice is to hang up because scammers won’t call back. They will instead move on to the next number, looking for another potential victim.

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