With the annual tax filing deadline looming, seniors should be on guard for thieves posing as investigators from the Internal Revenue Service.

The crooks typically make unsolicited calls, claiming the person owes taxes to the IRS. They then threaten victims with criminal prosecution, arrest or deportation unless payment is made —usually via prepaid debit cards.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office offers this tips to help individuals avoid scams:

• The IRS will never call you about a problem with your tax return. A letter will be sent.

• Do not give out any personal identifying information during an unsolicited call.

• Do not send money to anyone claiming to be from a governmental agency.

For more information on scams that target seniors, go to the Elder Abuse/Financial Fraud pages of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s website (http://da.lacounty.gov/seniors/financial-fraud) or to learn more about the IRS investigator scam, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0y5z0kWgBcM.