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Tax Rebate Scam


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Be Alert to Tax Rebate Scam 



The $168 billion economic stimulus package signed into law today by President Bush 
will send rebate checks this spring to 130 million Americans. That's the good 
news. The bad news is that an aggressive phone and email scam seeks to exploit the 
eagerness of taxpayers to receive their checks. 


This phone version of this fraud has a caller claiming to be an Internal Revenue 
Service employee and telling consumers they are eligible for a tax-rebate check 
from the government. But to process the rebate, people are informed they will need 
to provide personal banking information. If they refuse to give this information, 
consumers are told they will not receive the money. 


The IRS will not make any such phone calls, and consumers should never provide any 
personal information over the phone to anyone you do not know. 


An email version of this scam, also claiming to come from the IRS, encourages 
recipients to access a Web link or download and fill out an attached form to 
provide personal financial information. Recipients may be led to believe that 
failing to provide the information will knock them out of good standing with the 
IRS, prevent them from receiving their rebate or tax refund or even cause them to 
be audited. The attachments can also contain spyware that enables the thief to 
steal victims? personal and financial information. 


I urge Arizonans to follow these guidelines to guard against identity thieves 
during this year?s tax season: 
The only IRS Web site is www.irs.gov , and all genuine IRS Web pages begin 
with http://www.irs.gov/ . If you want to access the IRS via Internet, you 
should type this address into your browser. Do NOT follow links provided in 
an email. 
The IRS and the Arizona Department of Revenue do not send unsolicited 
tax-related emails to taxpayers and will never ask for personal information 
(such as Social Security, bank account or PIN numbers) via email. If you 
receive an email claiming to be from the IRS or Department of Revenue that 
asks for personal or tax-related information, you should be highly 
skeptical. Suspicious tax-related emails can be forwarded to 
phishing@irs.gov . 
Be careful with all documents that contain personal financial or tax-related 
information. Scam artists are aware that mailboxes, home offices and even 
trash bins often contain sensitive documents during tax season. Make sure to 
collect your mail regularly, store all tax related documents in a safe place 
and shred all documents that contain personal financial information before 
throwing them away. 


The rebate checks will be a welcome benefit for taxpayers. Don't let the prospect 
of getting yours allow you to fall victim to a scam artist. 

 

 

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Copyright 2007 West Liberty Police Department
Last modified: July 18, 2012