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Tax Rebate Scams Common in Southwest Missouri

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/taxrebates_1221.mp3

Money and identity theft scams are happening in Southwest Missouri. During tax rebate season, consumers are being contacted by fake companies requesting personal information. KSMU's Emily Nash has more on these scams, and how to protect yourself from them.

This year, some people will be getting a larger tax rebate than usual.

The new economic stimulus package will give some tax payers six to twelve hundred dollars more.

And, scam artists are taking advantage of the situation.

Dean Bryant, FBI special agent in Springfield, says tax payers should be skeptical if they get a phone call like this.

Nancy Cummins, special agent with the IRS in Springfield, describes a scam targeting military families.

She says there's an easy way to tell if these phone calls are a scam.

Identity theft is getting easier and people looking to steal your personal information are getting more creative.

One popular scam involves thieves creating fake bank web sites.

The thief will send you an email taking you to a web page identical to your bank's Then the thief will ask for personal information, like account numbers or passwords.

FBI agent Dean Bryant says even if the web site looks legitimate, you shouldn't give out any information.

Instead you should call your bank and ask about the situation.

Identity theft isn't the only problem facing Missouri consumers.

Missouri's Secretary of State Robin Caarnahan says investment scams artists are also drawn to Southwest Missouri.

Experts say consumers can't be too skeptical when investing money, and giving out personal information.

For more information about money scams, you get use the links on our web site at KSMU.ORG.

Links:

  • Missouri Investory Protection Center
  • United States Postal Service