As tax season approaches, police have seen a spike in reports of phone scams from someone claiming that taxes are owed.

“The basic scam involves the suspect calling the victim and claiming to be an associate with Taxation Canada and that a large sum of money is owed in taxes,” said Winnipeg police in a news release.

The caller then tells the victim to send payment in the form of gift cards.

Anyone with elderly family members or others who might be susceptible to these types of scams should warn them, police said.

The commercial crime unit has been notified. For more information about fraud protection and reporting, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.