It is a Consumer Alert that prays on social security numbers and it is costing every single one of us. The scam all starts with the theft of social security numbers belonging to residents of Puerto Rico and ends with major theft from the U.S. Treasury.
"Puerto Ricans generally do NOT file federal income tax returns, but they are issued Social Security numbers, so the fraudsters will steal the SS numbers, dates of births and bring them up here to the United States to file federal income tax return checks," said an undercover agent on the case.
Once victim named Bob did not want to show his face as he talked about the suspicious activity linked to a multi-billion dollar scam. The scammers direct the IRS to send the refund checks to an address of someone they know or to easily accessible mailboxes like the one at Bob's house. "This came to my house, I had no idea who it was for and wrote return to sender right here and took it to the post office. I thought it was strange, because it came in September," said Bob.
Inspectors said Bob did the right thing. According to the undercover agent, "We've intercepted billions of dollars in fraudulent federal tax return checks. We want our postal customers to inform us if they have received such type of checks in their mailbox."