CHARLESTON – An IRS phone scam is apparently targeting Bootheel residents.

According to Mississippi County Sheriff Keith Moore, the impostors call from a 347-area code claiming the call recipient owes a tax debt or legal expenses from a “class action lawsuit.” The callers then threaten to arrest or to take legal action unless the call recipient agrees to wire money or make a credit card payment over the phone.

“The official Internal Revenue Service website confirms the IRS will never request immediate payment nor ask for credit/debit card information over the phone,” Moore said in a news release. “Those with elderly or otherwise vulnerable relatives should ensure their loved ones are aware of this scam and know how to respond if such a call is received.”

Moore suggested those who receives this type of call should simply hang up.

For those who owe taxes, the IRS will initiate contact through the U.S. mail. Individuals who believe they owe taxes can contact the IRS directly at (800) 829-1040.