(NEWTON/OLNEY) Athorities have issued an area “Tax Scam Alert” for the residents of Jasper, Richland, and all surrounding counties. Many residents are receiving phone calls from people fraudulently claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service, attempting to get the residents to pay money immediately, either by credit card, money order, or wire transfer. Authorities with the IRS are warning residents that these unsolicited calls mostly are made from outside the United States using the threat of fines or jail time as an illegal attempt to get folks’ money. Authorities say the best thing to do is simply “HANG UP” and “DO NOT ENGAGE THEM IN CONVERSATION” or give any personal information. The IRS “DOES NOT” ask for payments by telephone. In fact, the IRS never requests personal or financial information by email, text, social media, and/or telephone. In addition, there are similar scams such as debt relief, lottery sweepstakes winners, and those posing as grandchildren or family members who claim to be in jail and needing bond money immediately. For more check with your local police or county Sheriff’s Department.