The first batch of federal government stimulus checks just went out, and most of us are keeping an eye on the mailbox. But I’ve heard some scam artists are pretending to be with the Internal Revenue Service in an attempt to get bank account information. Can you tell us how this new scam works?

In this new scam someone usually calls and says he or she are with the IRS. They tell you that if you will give them your bank account number, they will deposit your economy stimulus check directly into your bank account. They will often supply you with personal information they have found about you from public records to convince you they are legitimate, but do not fall for it. The IRS says they will never call you, or e-mail you, requesting personal information like bank account numbers. The FBI has recently reported that many of these scammers are operating from outside the , where they are out of reach of our law enforcement. Therefore it’s up to individuals to protect their own identities and financial information by staying aware of scams. A good rule of thumb is to simply never give out personal or financial information to anyone calling you unsolicited. If someone does become a victim of this scam, or any fraud, they do need to report it to the police. They should call 911 to make the report. Our financial investigations unit then investigates these reports. If you want more information about this type of crime, you can call them at 214.671.3503.

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