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  2008 Press Releases  

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 4, 2008

Seniors warned about IRS Economic Stimulus Scam

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) Director Charles D. Johnson is warning seniors about an apparent attempts to confuse and con seniors who are still waiting 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.

IDoA is acting to alert Illinois seniors after learning that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is alerting consumers of bogus phone calls and a spam email claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 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 Director Johnson. "You do not have to respond to a phone call nor email in order to receive your economic stimulus check. To find out when your check will arrive, contact the IRS."

The email 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 email claims that consumers' stimulus checks will be delayed if they fail to complete the form in a timely manner. Examples of the IRS spam emails 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."

These emails are not from the IRS. The IRS has a clear policy that they do not initiate communications with taxpayers via email. 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 Web site which is located at www.irs.gov.

For more information about program services to assist older adults in Illinois and their caregivers, call the Department on Aging Senior HelpLine.

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