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Watch Out For Economic Stimulus Rebate Scams

By Erik Folgate

According to the AP, via CNN Money, there’s already scammers out there trying to trick you into giving out personal information, claiming to be the IRS. They are telling people that they need to verify their personal information in order for them to receive the economic stimulus plan rebate. These people are the scum of the earth, aren’t they? And you can bet that they are targeting the elderly and college students. College students are usually naive, and they feel that the elderly are more vulnerable and gullible to give out personal information. Someone could be stealing your grandmother’s identity and wiping out her life savings as we speak.

These scammers are using email, phone calls, and probably letters to trick you into giving out bank account information and social security numbers. He are a few tips to remember so you don’t find yourself as a victim of this horrible scam.

  • The IRS is never going to send you an email requesting personal information such as your bank account number or social security number. If they wanted to know that, believe me, they could find out without having to email you. Just think to yourself, why would the IRS email everyone in America about the economic stimulus plan.
  • The IRS is never going to call you to verify personal information. Again, they already know your personal information, they don’t need you to verify it.
  • If you receive an email claiming to be from the IRS website, be very cautious and contact the IRS to report any phishing emails or to verify if they really sent out the email. The chances are extremely slim that they will ever send you an email. Click on this link to read about what to do about reporting a phishing email to the IRS and read about the most recent scammers posing as the IRS and how to detect it.
  • If you receive a letter in the mail or an email asking you to call a phone number in order to verify your personal information or collect your rebate, do not call the number. There are scams out there that will even go to the lengh of setting up a phony 1-800 number with representatives posing as IRS reps. They’ll ask for your personal information and then steal your identity.

The age of the internet and electronic data storage has forced us to keep our personal information more private than ever before. Many of you are very savvy consumers, and you know how to identify phishing emails and phone calls easily. But, your grandparents or children might not be as good at it, so take the time to educate them about the dangers out there of potential identity thieves.

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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