Watch out for scammers calling you for bank account information, warns the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. The IRS announced yesterday that identity thieves ask for account numbers saying they need them for you to get your $600 or $1200 rebate.
Thieves may also ask for Social Security numbers or credit card numbers.
Once they have your personal information, they may use it to steal your financial identity – applying for new loans, running up credit card bills and filing false tax returns.
The IRS will not contact you by telephone to get account information. Do not be misled.
Also watch out for a phishing scam – where you receive an email asking for personal information and in some cases promising to give your rebate check to a non-profit organization. The IRS does not collect information using email. The same holds true for a scam where you receive an email saying you’re getting audited. You will not be notified via email.
If you receive a fraudulent email you may forward it to the IRS using this address:
As always, be careful about sharing your personal information. You can always ask why someone needs it. And if you don’t like the answer you can do business somewhere else.

Published: Jan 31, 2008