Texans should be aware of a scam that has emerged in connection with the proposed federal economic stimulus package. Under recently passed legislation, the IRS will mail tax rebate checks to eligible Texans over the next few months. President Bush has indicated he will sign the package into law on Wednesday.
Several Texans recently filed complaints with the Office of the Attorney General after receiving unsolicited e-mails and telephone calls from purported IRS agents claiming that the taxpayers are eligible for "Bush refunds." The scammers demand taxpayers' Social Security and bank account numbers, claiming the IRS will use the information to directly deposit "rebate checks" into the taxpayers' accounts.
This is outright identity theft fraud. The IRS does not call or e-mail taxpayers unexpectedly to demand personal information for direct deposits. Taxpayers solicited in this manner should just hang up or delete the e-mail.
Texans who have received these bogus solicitations can file a complaint with the IRS at www.irs.gov or by calling (800) 829-1040. Consumers also can report such calls to our office.