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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The IRS has issued a new warning on a familiar con after seeing a dramatic increase in scams that has already netted crooks more than $26 million.

CBS4 has reported on these scams before.

They usually involve a phone call from someone claiming to be an IRS employee. The person will claim you owe money to the IRS or are being sued by the IRS and they will demand payment on the spot. Sometimes they’ll ask for a prepaid debit card number or a wire transfer.

They use high-pressure bullying techniques to get the person to pay money immediately in order to avoid being sued or arrested by the IRS.

But in reality it’s all a scam.

“They’re just ruthless people. They don’t care about people, they don’t care about anything except taking your money,” Treasury Department deputy inspector general for investigations Tim Camus said. “The tipoff is if you don’t pay you go to jail. The IRS will never make a call like that.”

So far the IRS has received 900,000 complaints about these scams so they are growing in number.

Agents said the IRS would never demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

They also say the IRS would never demand or require a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card.

And the IRS would never threaten to bring the local police department to your home to arrest you for not paying taxes.

Eliott Rodriguez