Taxes: Don't fall for this stimulus rebate check scam

May 16, 2008

It was inevitable. Soon after the government passed the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, criminals went to work trying to pry tax rebates from the hands of unsuspecting Americans--and they might target you, too.

It was inevitable. Soon after the government passed the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, criminals went to work trying to pry tax rebates from the hands of unsuspecting Americans-and they might target you, too. Crooks posing as IRS agents have been calling and e-mailing taxpayers, telling them that they won't get their stimulus rebate check unless they provide a bank account number or other personal information. Sure, maybe you wouldn't fall for this ruse, but a loved one might. So pass the word: The IRS never contacts taxpayers by e-mail or phone; the preferred method is by letter, says Phil Beasley of the agency's Criminal Investigation Division.

Another word on the stimulus rebates: If you filed a federal return and indicated a direct deposit account on it, you may already have your money. The IRS transmitted the last of the payments on May 16. People who didn't use direct deposit, however, may have to wait as late as July 11, based on the last two digits of their Social Security number.