FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WHNT) — Dekalb County Sheriff Nick Welden is warning residents of a scam that has recently been targeting seniors.

Welden said the scam involved scammers reaching out to older residents through Facebook, Facebook Messenger or e-mail appearing to be a friend. He said the messages are actually being sent from hacked accounts.

The Sheriff said targets of the scam receive a message saying they have won money but have to pay taxes on the winning amount to receive it. He said the sheriff’s office has multiple reports of victims sending payments of these alleged taxes to fraudulent overseas accounts.

Welden asked residents to talk to older family members and make them aware of the scam. He said any tax payments will always be paid directly to the IRS and that a legitimate organization would not ask for personal information this way.

“An honest organization will not call, text or e-mail asking for any kind of personal information,” Welden said. “If you get an e-mail or a text asking you to click on a link and you think it is legit, please call that company (from a phone number you look up, not one they provide to you) before you click on anything.”