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Attorney General Warns of Identity Theft During Tax Season

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/attorneyge_2237.mp3

With tax season upon us, Attorney General Jay Nixon says Missourians need to be aware of tax rebate scam phone calls. KSMU's Kristian Kriner reports.

Doris Blaylock, an elderly woman in Springfield, receives almost daily calls from people asking for her personal information.

Doris says she has received at least twelve phone calls from identity thieves in the past few months.

"I've some from Medicare. They were going to cut my amount that I pay Medicare and save about sixty dollars a month and the thing of it was that they were going to put the money in my bank account, so they ended up wanting my bank account number, so they could send it to the bank. Well, I didn't give them those things, which they had everything except my last bank account number. They even had the bank routing number, my Birthday, where I live, my name. They had everything," Doris Blaylock said.

Doris is just one of many people who receive identity theft phone calls everyday and now that it's tax season, identity thieves have one more opportunity to do their work.

Some Missourians are getting phone calls from scammers who say they need to process your tax rebate.

They may ask for your Social Security number, bank account number or credit card number.

The thieves claim to be from the Internal Revenue Service or the Missouri Department of Revenue.

Travis Ford, Consumer Educator for Attorney General Jay Nixon, says these thieves are out to steal consumers' identities and their money.

"This is an attempt at Identity theft. These crooks are trying to get people to give them their Social Security number, so that they can go out and commit crimes like take out loans in a consumer's name or open up a credit card in a consumer's name, so that's why it is so important for consumers to never give out personal information to anyone who contacts them and only give that information out when they have initiated the contact," Ford said.

Ford urges customers to never give out any personal information such as date of birth or Social Security, credit card or bank account numbers on the phone. Ford says the best thing to do when these scammers call is to hang up and immediately report them to Nixon's Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-392-8222.

I'm Kristian Kriner for KSMU News.