Thursday, February 28, 2008

That Rebate Check Could Be Just the Right Bait...

Everyone has heard the news by now that the Department of U.S. Treasury will be sending out rebate checks to taxpayers who qualify as part of the 2008 Economic Stimulus Act. This has come as a pleasant surprise for most people and they look forward to receiving their checks. One thing that taxpayers need to be on the lookout for now, other than the rebate they are so eagerly anticipating, is conmen.

At this point, the promise of a speedy delivery of the rebate check could convince some to hand over personal information to scammers. The bait is obviously there folks. Just be on the lookout for such scams. Once the identity thief has your personal and financial data, he or she will use this information to empty your financial accounts, run up charges on your existing credit cards, apply for new loans, credit cards, services or benefits in your name, file fraudulent tax returns or even commit crimes. Most of these fraudulent activities can be committed electronically from a remote location, including overseas. Committing these activities in cyberspace allows conmen to act quickly and cover their tracks before you, the victim, become aware of the theft.

Bottom line…do not let this happen to you. Those who have received a questionable e-mail claiming to come from the IRS may forward it to a mailbox the IRS has established to receive such e-mails: You may also send an email to this address if you have received any questionable phone calls as well.

Be smart and be patient.


Additional Resources

6 Tips for Avoiding E-Mail Tax Scams

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