Friday, June 06, 2008
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Seniors warned about IRS economic stimulus scam

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[June 06, 2008]  SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois Department on Aging Director Charles D. Johnson is warning seniors about apparent attempts to confuse and con seniors who are still waiting for economic stimulus checks. The scam is to get people to reveal their personal and financial information, such as Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers, which the scammers can use to commit identity theft.

ChiropracticThe Department on Aging is acting to alert Illinois seniors after learning that the FBI is alerting consumers of bogus phone calls and a spam e-mail claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service regarding economic stimulus checks.

"It's horrible that there are people preying on older citizens by stealing their information in order to steal their money," said Johnson. "You do not have to respond to a phone call nor e-mail in order to receive your economic stimulus check. To find out when your check will arrive, contact the IRS."

The e-mail contains information relative to direct deposit of the stimulus checks and also contains a fraudulent hyperlink to a form that requests personal bank account information. The bogus e-mail claims that consumers' stimulus checks will be delayed if they fail to complete the form in a timely manner. Examples of the IRS spam e-mails include the following: "Our records indicate that you are qualified to receive the 2008 Economic Stimulus Refund"; and "To access Economic Stimulus refund, please click here."

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These e-mails are not from the IRS. The IRS has a clear policy that they do not initiate communications with taxpayers via e-mail. Filing a tax return is the only way to apply for a tax refund, and there is no separate application form. Taxpayers who wish to find out if they are due a refund from their last annual tax return filing may use the "Where's My Refund?" interactive application at, the only official IRS site on the Web.

For more information about program services to assist older adults in Illinois and their caregivers, call the Department on Aging Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966, or for hearing-impaired use only, call TTY 888-206-1327.

[Text from Illinois Department on Aging file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]


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