Before the ink was dry on legislation to provide economic stimulus rebate checks to taxpayers, scammers were playing on consumers' eagerness to receive their money.
The Tax Rebate Direct Deposit Scam, one of the first out of the gate, is showing up across the country, according to law enforcement officials.
In Oklahoma, Attorney General Drew Edmondson says many elderly residents of the state have become targets. They report receiving a phone call from someone who says they are with the Social Security Administration. They ask for the victim's bank account information so the funds can be direct deposited to their account.
"The spouse of one of our employees has received repeated calls from someone claiming to be with the SSA's Tax Refund Department," Edmondson said. "The caller is asking for checking account information that could be used to steal her money."
"The Social Security Administration does not contact people in this fashion," said Larry Jones, a spokesman for the Social Security Administration. "Citizens who want to have their benefits directly deposited into their bank accounts generally elect to do so upon filing their original claim for benefits, so that information is already on file. Even if it wasn't, the SSA does not have anything to do with mailing consumers' tax rebates."
Edmondson joined other law enforcement agents warning consumers against providing any personal or financial information, including bank account, credit card and Social Security numbers, to unknown callers.
It's also worth noting that to get your tax rebate, you have to file a tax return, even if you're not normally required to do so. Read more ...