CARLISLE -- Carlisle police are warning residents to be aware of several telephone scams that have been reported in increasing numbers recently, in particular a scam in which the caller pretends to be from the Internal Revenue Service.

Police Chief John Fisher said there have been more than 50 reports of such scams so far this year.

The most common is the "IRS scam," in which a caller claims to be an IRS agent who demands immediate payment for past due taxes. The caller often threatens potential victims with jail time if they don't pay.

In another scam, callers claim a relative has been arrested or involved in an accident and that they need money for bail or other necessities.

"We would like to make residents aware of these scams so they don't fall victim to them," Fisher said. "These con artists and scammers are sophisticated, and they have the ability to spoof phone numbers and make calls appear to be from legitimate, government numbers."

Fisher said the IRS does not conduct business over the telephone, and would never ask anyone for cash payments.

Since the callers demand wire transfers or payments via cash cards, the cases are often impossible to solve once a victim has transferred money.

Police advise anyone who gets such a call to hang up immediately, then call police at 978-369-1155.