COLUMBUS, Kan. — About one fourth of Americans fear being audited by the Internal Revenue Service.

Less than 1% of Americans who make less than $200,000 a year get audited by the Internal Revenue Service – yet taxpayers are afraid.

Thieves use that fear to their advantage, said Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves.

With tax deadline looming people should be extra vigilant discerning calls from scammers who are posing as IRS agents.

Groves said thieves and scammers are good at what they do and can be convincing.

It’s important to guard personal information, he said.

One scam to be alert of is professional looking emails and texts from the IRS or telephone phone calls and the caller claiming to be an IRS Agent.

They will ask the person answering the phone for personal information or tell them they owe taxes and there is a balance past due. Failure to immediately pay with a credit card, bank card, or gift card, will result in the sheriff coming to arrest them.

A sheriff will not arrest anyone for not having their income taxes paid, Groves said.

If a taxpayer owes taxes, they will receive a letter from the IRS through the United States Post Office. No legitimate agency or organization will ever ask to be paid with gift cards, he said.