HARRISBURG – (July 12, 2019) Senator Michele Brooks warns Pennsylvanians to be aware of a scam targeting seniors and people with disabilities who applied for rebates through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.
Sen. Brooks and the Department of Revenue have received information that the scam consists of unsolicited telephone calls from a person claiming to work for the department. The caller tells the recipient that their application for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program has been approved and then asks if the recipient would like the rebate directly deposited into a bank account, followed by a request for the recipient’s banking information.
“Please know that this scam is happening,” Sen. Brooks said. “The Department of Revenue does not make unsolicited calls requesting banking information. Please protect your financial information and be extremely cautious when you receive unsolicited phone calls.”
Here is some additional information on the program and tips to safeguard against this scam:
· The Department of Revenue does not collect banking information over the phone. Applicants are required to submit their bank account information on their application forms in order to receive their rebates through direct deposit.
· The Department of Revenue does not contact applicants via automated calls to confirm their information has been received and approved. If the department needs more information about an individual’s application, it sends a letter through the mail.
· Do not give out personal information over the phone to unsolicited callers, even if the caller claims to be from the Department of Revenue, the IRS, or your bank.
· Do not trust the number you see on your caller ID. Scam artists often use a technique known as spoofing to trick caller ID.
· Legitimate businesses and government agencies will not contact you to verify your account information, so ask for a call-back number. Ask why your personal information is needed, how it will be used, how it will be protected, and what happens if you do not share it. Contact your bank or credit card company to confirm the call.
· If you received one of these scam calls and provided your banking information or other personal information, immediately call your bank to report this potential fraud.