Seven thousand dollars is a lot of money to turn away, especially when the IRS is offering it.
Rebecca Penn, of Burley, says it just didn't add up.
Last week, Penn received a call from a woman who claimed to be with the IRS -- not Internal Revenue Service. The woman, who had an accent explained that there was a lot of government money not being returned to residents.
"This was based on a one-time only tax refund because of the law Obama passed last year that didn't get recognized in the media," the 56-year-old Penn says. "It was $7,000."
As the woman explained, in order for Penn to receive the money she would need her personal financial information.
"She said, 'Would you like me to put that in your checking, credit card or send cash,'" she says.
At that point, the red flags were going off. Penn told the caller she'd like a check from the IRS.
With that said, the caller told Penn she would need to go to the Western Union agent near her home, with her ID, cellphone and $250 in processing fees to the IRS to receive this one-time refund.
Then, she would have to call a supervisor, Charlene Clark.
"I thought to myself, 'If this is legitimate, the IRS would send me a check,'" Penn says. "And then I said, 'If this IS the IRS, they'll send me a check,' and I said, 'Listen the IRS isn't stupid, they'll send me a check.' And the caller hanged up."
Off the IRS website, it states:
"Generally, a credit adds to the amount of your tax refund or lowers the amount of taxes owed. Therefore, ... (it) will be included as part of your refund, as shown on your tax return."
Here's advice on not getting taken.
• Take your time. There's no rush. Scammers pressure people to give out bank account numbers so that they can steal your money. Keep your bank account information to yourself. Never share it unless you are familiar with the company and know why the information is necessary.
• Don't pay for "free" money. If you have to pay money to claim a "free" government grant, it isn't really free. Refunds and grants from the federal government require YOU to apply. The only official access point for all federal grant-making agencies is www.grants.gov
• Check the correct names of government agencies. Just because a caller says they're from the "Federal Grants Administration" doesn't mean they are. The names of agencies and foundations can be confusing: The IRS doesn't always mean the Internal Revenue Service. Check your telephone directory or Internet.
Stop telemarketers by registering on theNational Do Not Call Registry.