Officials warn people to pick up tax credit fraud applications
Early County Investigators say it's the largest person to person scam
Victoria Whittaker says a lady asked her to fill out an application at Damascus City Hall
Cities of Damascus and Blakey are believed to have been hit the hardest
BAKER CO., GA (WALB) -
Law enforcement is urging folks in southwest Georgia to steer clear of a federal tax credit scam that surfaced late last week.
People were asked to fill out personal information for an application that promised to get them up to $1,000.00 in stimulus money and many may have fallen for the scheme.
Folks in Early, Miller, Baker, and Calhoun County could be victims of tax invasion fraud and identity theft. Officials say it's one of the biggest scams to hit southwest Georgia.
"I would say it is easily going to be over 100 people if not a lot more than that," says Captain Will Caudill with the Early County Investigation Unit.
Last week, folks were asked to fill out a form scammers are calling an American Opportunity Act application. The form promised to get those who applied money from a stimulus package.
"There was a lady that came in and she had bought a few drinks and things and she told me there was a stimulus going on at city hall, if I knew anybody in my family that was disabled to call them and come up to city hall and fill out a stimulus," says Victoria Whittaker who works at a local convenient store in Baker County.
But officials say the application was a classic form of fraud.
"Worst case scenario is somebody could file a false tax return using this information or if they gained access to their bank accounts could actually have money withdrawn from their account," says Caudill.
Investigators are urging anyone who filled out an application to check their bank accounts and their mail boxes to make sure nothing suspicious pops up.
"Possibly have those accounts closed or just talk to their bank about what they need to do. You also need to contact the IRS if this information was possibly going to be used to file some type of tax return," says Caudill.
As for those who haven't filled out an application, official encourage you to steer clear of the tax credit form.
Investigators are asking anyone with any information to call the Early County Sheriff's Department at 229-723-3214.