EDISON - As the deadline to file taxes draws near, the Internal Revenue Service is issuing a warning to be aware of scammers pretending to work for the agency.

New figures from the IRS show that New Jersey residents have lost a total of $1.5 million to IRS scammers. The average New Jersey victim is taken for more than $4,600.

The scam usually involves someone calling the taxpayers phone and pretending to work for the IRS trying to scare the person into wring them money.

The IRS says that often the people scammed are those who actually do owe money on their taxes.

“Because they do actually own taxes…perhaps they may be behind on some tax payments, they really believe the IRS is calling,” says IRS Special Agent Jonathan Larsen.

Larsen says that even the savviest of taxpayers may fall victim to the scam because there is concern on their mind if they owe money.

As a reminder, the IRS warns that the agency will never collect money by phone or email. They will only send a letter or certified letter.

Larsen says that anyone getting those calls or emails should hang up or delete them.