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New York's attorney general is issuing a consumer alert about tax season scams.

Eric Schneiderman says con artists are calling unsuspecting New Yorkers, pretending to be with the IRS and threatening legal action if they don't pay up.

“The IRS and legitimate government agencies never demand payment by phone,” Schneiderman said. “If you owe money, you will receive a notice in writing that identifies the agency and the reason you owe money.”

Schneiderman warns that it's a rip-off and an effort to collect personal information, including your social security and bank account numbers. He says scammers often prey on first-generation Americans who send money to relatives back home, threatening them with deportation.

Schneiderman also says beware of refund anticipation loans and checks.

“Both are often marketed as instant or 24-hour refunds, but are actually high-cost loans that come with fees and interest that reduce the amount of your refund,” he said.

Schneiderman says the IRS never threatens and never demands payment by phone.

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