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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Scammers are getting busy this holiday season and a new IRS scam may be the most common scam in the country right now.

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Warren Siegel was surprised by a creepy recording on his answering machine that said, “This call is an official final notice.”  The call went on to say that he was in trouble with the IRS. “The reason for this call is to inform you the IRS has filed a lawsuit against you.”

The retired lawyer knew better than to call the number on his answering machine. Other people may not realize it.

In fact the IRS scam has become one of the most common complaints to Consumerwatch.

The Federal Trade Commission’s David Newman said he even got the call.

He warned the crooks are disguising their phone numbers, something known as “spoofing” to make it appear they’re calling from the IRS.

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Their goal is to scare people into giving them money.

Newman said,” Once you get scared, you stop thinking and you don’t approach it critically.”

Last year, a woman only identified as Lois got a similar call, supposedly from the tax agency. The caller told her, “If I didn’t clear it up, they were going to prosecute me.”

She admits fear clouded her judgment and she ended up giving the scammers $4,500 in prepaid debit cards.

Newman advises everyone, if you get a call, don’t engage. If you get a message, don’t call back. If you do, you could end up on the so-called suckers list as a target for other crooks.

You should remember the IRS will never call or email you unless they’ve first contacted you via mail.

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Also important to remember is that the first sign of any scam is someone asking you to pay with money orders, pre-paid debit cards or gift cards.