Laurel Police Chief Richard McLaughlin warned residents to be aware after a nationwide phone scam where callers claim to be with the IRS has been reported in Laurel.

According to city officials, in the scam callers claiming to be with the IRS tell victims they owe taxes and must pay with a pre-paid card, or a wire transfer, or face arrest, deportation or losing their driver's license or even their business.

City officials said the callers use fake IRS badge numbers; know the last four digits of the victim's social security number; create a caller-identification number that appears to be the IRS. The scammers also send fake IRS emails and call again, this time claiming to be police or the Department of Motor Vehicles, with caller identifications rigged up to support their fake claims.

In a press release, Laurel police reminded residents that anyone from the IRS usually contacts people at first by mail, not by phone, and will not ask for payment using pre-paid cards or wire transfers. In addition, the IRS will not ask for a credit card number over the phone

IRS scam incidents can be reported to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484, and email scams can be forwarded to phishing@irs.gov.

To report any type of fraud, Laurel residents can call the Laurel Police Department at 301-498-0092.