OROVILLE, Calif. -

An advocate for seniors calls it an "insidious scam" aimed at seniors in Butte and surrounding counties.

Instead of trying to entice seniors with free money and gifts, this scam is designed to scare seniors into giving personal information over the telephone.

An Oroville woman saved phone messages in which the perpetrators pretended to be agents with the IRS which stated that she was in serious trouble and could face time in prison and asked her repeatedly to contact their office, leaving a telephone number.

While she didn't fall for it, many others do according to Tatalia Fassieux, a senior advocate with Passages Adult Resource Center in Chico. 

"They're trying to get personal information," said Fassieux. "[They want] either their back account number, their social security number or their Medi-Care health care number."

"There are very easy ways, unfortunately, to defraud seniors," she added.