Sweetwater County Sheriff Mike Lowell says his department is once again getting a lot of reports about scams that feature phony IRS agents trying to extort money for supposed delinquent taxes.

The sheriff says there are basically two types of IRS phone scams. One type features people calling up intended victims and posing as IRS agents who demand immediate payment of alleged back taxes.

The other type features recorded phone calls that direct the recipients to call back people who claim to be government agents and often threaten dire consequences if they are not paid immediately.

Some of the recordings can sound deceptively realistic but, in fact, the Internal Revenue Service has a long-standing policy of first contacting taxpayers by mail rather than via a phone call.

You can find out if you actually owe any money on federal income taxes by calling the IRS directly at 1-800-366-4484.

You can report income tax scams to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.